THE first stage of the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre is ready for use to cater for up to 400 clients. The first clients arrived earlier this month.
The clients, all single adult men, are being accommodated in the former Brighton army huts that originally were located on the site.
The huts have been refurbished to provide dormitory-style accommodation with each one sleeping up to 20 people.
The huts have been rewired and heating and cooling have also been fitted.
New kitchen facilities have been installed, along with a dining room, extra bathroom and laundry blocks and recreation rooms with free-to-air television and DVDs and books in relevant languages.
A medical facility has been constructed onsite and will provide a range of services including nursing, doctor and counselling services and mental health practitioners.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) spokesman Sandi Logan said all clients at the facility are low-risk.
Construction continues on the remainder of the facility, which will bring capacity to a maximum of 400 people.
Additional buildings being installed include dedicated classrooms, recreation rooms and dining facilities to support additional accommodation blocks.
Construction of the centre at Pontville has provided an economic boost to the local and wider Tasmanian community with materials and even entire buildings being sourced locally.
Up to 100 local tradespeople have been employed to work on the project every day for the past nine weeks.
DIAC understands the concerns of near neighbours given their proximity to the site and will continue to consult with them, either individually or in small groups, to ensure they remain informed and answer any questions.
Stakeholder briefings with other agencies including Tasmania Police and Tasmania Fire Service are occurring and will continue on a regular basis.
The department has developed information in response to questions about the establishment and operation of the centre.
This information, called Pontville Immigration Detention Centre – Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at the department’s website at http://www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/detention/facilities/pontville/pontville-faqs.htm
Anyone with inquiries or offers relating to the establishment of the centre can contact the department through a special email address firstname.lastname@example.org
This information has been supplied by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship