Could it be that the 82 Sri Lankans sent recently to Nauru, will be the last asylum seekers sent into custody under the federal government’s ”Pacific solution”?

Construction of an 800-bed, $360 million Christmas Island detention facility continues apace, seven days a week, in an attempt to complete the massive complex by mid-year.

The full plans for the Christmas Island detention complex, situated at the far end of the island which is 24km long and 7 km wide, have come into Crikey’s possession. See the full plans here:

The Legend 

Layout 1, Layout 2, Layout 3, Layout 5, Layout 6, Layout 7, Layout 8, Layout 9, Layout 10, Layout 11, Layout 12, Layout 13, Layout 14, Layout 15, Layout 16, Layout 17, Layout 18 , Layout 19, Layout 20, Layout 21, Layout 22, Layout 23 , Layout 24, Layout 25

Below are some of the details of the security and operational layout: 

  • 800 beds (includes a children’s compound). Currently costed at $360 million. Proposed opening: mid 2007.
  • Includes a compound with an eight cot nursery, childcare centre, play area and classrooms.
  • The island has two boat landing places — one at Settlement and one highly inaccessible elsewhere, and one airport. The area surrounding the centre has high cliffs.

  • The compound will be kept with sufficient staff to ensure it can be used within 48 hours’ notice at any time.

  • The detention camp has “energised” (electric) fences and microwave probes (Movement detectors). It also has camera systems posted under eaves, on roofs and in every room.

  • The detention camp on Christmas island has CCTV linked to RCR- (Remote Control Room Canberra).
  • The detainees will wear electronic ID tags or cards which identify them wherever they are in the complex by locator beacons.
  • There are cameras and microphones in every room, wall mounted behind heavy metal grilles.
  • The doors to the rooms are electric and centrally controlled. There are RTE (Request to Exit) buttons.

  • Microwave probes surround every building as well as the layers of perimeter fences encircling the centre.

  • Access by car goes through airlock systems and electric doors.

  • Between the multi-layered fence system there are checkpoints for human guards on patrol and outdoor security cubicles for them to sit, sited at short intervals all around the perimeter of the centre. Each of these security cubicles is wired with duress buttons and microwave probes.

  • There is a hospital, operating theatre and visiting rooms with non-contact glass panels.

  • There is a Red One and Red Two Management unit with solitary cells.

  • There are family units in this management compound.
  • From 4-9 November United States Officials from US Homeland Security inspected the centre. They flew by chartered plane from Singapore to take a look.
  • According to The Australian, the Government’s detention-related spend-up began in earnest in late 2001 and capital works estimates obtained from the shire total $519 million.

  • The projects include a second port facility on the east coast of the island costing $30 million, approved by parliament in 2002 to ensure building supplies could be delivered in all-weather conditions to the site of the new detention centre. A transport corridor for the new loading facility at Nui Nui cost $11 million.

  • The Government built 160 bedsits for security guards in the seaside area of the island known as Poon San, at an estimated cost of $40 million.

  • Temporary living quarters built for workers flown in to construct the new detention centre cost $15 million. The work camp includes a tennis court with night lighting and a pool.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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