House of Representatives Committees

Contents

Membership of the Committee
List of abbreviations
Extract from the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives
List of recommendations

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 The Proposed Works
Chapter 3 Issues and Conclusions
Appendix A: List of Submissions
Appendix B: List of Witnesses
Appendix C: Submission No. 1 from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
Appendix D: Official Transcript of Evidence, 23 February 2005, Melbourne
Appendix E: Official Transcript of Evidence, 7 March 2005, Canberra

Membership of the Committee

Chair Hon Judi Moylan MP
Deputy Chair Mr Brendan O’Connor MP
Members Mr John Forrest MP Senator Alan Ferguson
  Mr Harry Jenkins MP Senator Michael Forshaw
  Mr Bernie Ripoll MP Senator the Hon Judith Troeth
  Mr Barry Wakelin MP

Committee Secretariat

Secretary Mrs Margaret Swieringa
Inquiry Secretaries Ms Vivienne Courto
  Mr Raymond Knight
Administrative Officers Mr Peter Ratas

List of abbreviations

BCA Building Code of Australia
DIMIA Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
EMC Ecumenical Migration Centre
GSL Global Solutions Limited
IDC Immigration Detention Centre
IRPC Immigration Reception and Processing Centre
JAS Justice for Asylum Seekers OH&S Occupational Health and Safety MIDC Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre WRECC Western Region Ethnic Communities Council

Extract from the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives

No. 11 dated Thursday, 9 December 2004

PUBLIC WORKS—PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE—REFERENCE OF WORK—MARIBYRNONG IMMIGRATION DETENTION CENTRE (MIDC)—ADDITIONAL ACCOMMODATION AND RELATED WORKS

Dr Stone (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration), pursuant to notice, moved—That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for consideration and report: Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre (MIDC)—Additional accommodation and related works.

Question—put and passed.

List of recommendations

3 Issues and Conclusions

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that, in order to maintain a reasonable level of amenity, the current maximum occupancy of the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre be increased by no more than 20 places, with a total maximum occupancy in surge periods of not more than 100 detainees.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the portable accommodation units used in the proposed works be of an acceptable standard to ensure a reasonable level of comfort and amenity for detainees.

Recommendation 3

In respect of building codes and standards, the Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs consult with appropriate government and professional bodies to establish a national benchmark for the construction and fit-out of Immigration Detention Centres and Immigration Reception and Processing Centres.

Recommendation 4

In order to fulfil the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs’ objective of providing “humane and non-punitive detention infrastructure”, the Committee recommends that the Department reduce the number of detainees accommodated in the existing double-bunk rooms at the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre to two persons per room. Moreover, the Committee recommends that, wherever possible, occupancy of new ensuite rooms should be kept below the maximum of four, especially in cases where the detention period is prolonged.

Recommendation 5

In order to fulfil the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs’ objective of providing “humane and non-punitive detention infrastructure which provides a clear regard for the personal needs and dignity of residents”, the Committee recommends that the Department install bedroom doors or bed-curtaining in all rooms at the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre to ensure an appropriate level of privacy for detainees.

Recommendation 6

In respect of the ratio between living/recreation space, amenities and occupancy, the Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs consult with appropriate government and professional bodies with a view to establishing a national benchmark for room occupancy and related indoor and outdoor recreation areas, ablutions, kitchen and laundry facilities at Immigration Detention Centres and Immigration Reception and Processing Centres.

Recommendation 7

In order to meet the stated project objective in terms of the provision of “humane and non-punitive” detention facilities, the Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs expedite the proposed routine maintenance and upgrade of existing ablutions and accommodation facilities in order to reduce the disparity in quality of accommodation between the old and new wings of the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs give consideration to using the proposed new Zone A of the extended Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre for the accommodation of families in order to allow children greater access to the centre’s largest outdoor recreation area.

Recommendation 9

On the basis of the evidence presented, and subject to the acceptance of recommendations 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7, the Committee recommends that the proposed provision of facilities for Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre Additional Accommodation and Related Works proceed at the estimated cost of $7 million.

Recommendation 10

The Committee seeks a response from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs in respect of the Department’s intention to adopt the recommendations made in this report.

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