Jun 15, 2018

Is the Christmas Island detention centre going to stay open?

The planned closure of the Christmas Island detention center is looking in doubt after reports that Peter Dutton "changed his mind". What exactly is happening on the island?

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis


What is going on on Christmas Island? Crikey has been told that detainees from the lowest security compounds at Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre had a meeting with officials from Border Force on Tuesday afternoon, and were told that the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had "changed his mind", the centre will not be closing as planned.

Christmas Island detention centre -- which held nearly 3000 detainees at its peak, and has been the host of riots, self harm by detainees and several deaths -- has long been slated for closure. It was initially supposed to close at the end of 2017. Then it was announced in November last year that "within seven months" the detention centre was to be "placed in contingency" -- meaning it would be closed, but able to re-open within 72 hours. This deadline will pass in just over a week, and was thrown into doubt by the revelation that Villawood detainees were still being transferred (or threatened with transferal) to Christmas Island as recently as April.

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