THE first group of detainees have been transferred to the new Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre, near Northam.
A spokesperson from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said a total of 84 Afghans and Pakistanis were moved into the centre today, after being transferred from Wickham Point detention facility in the Northern Territory.
“All detainee clients arriving at Yongah Hill will have undergone preliminary health checks and further transfers from facilities across the detention network to occur in the coming weeks,” they said.
“Yongah Hill is a secure facility with perimeter fencing, internal fencing, electronic security measures and security staff, as well as appropriate arrangements in place with emergency services.
“DIAC is also ensuring appropriate support services are available to people accommodated at Yongah Hill.
“As a matter of course, this includes departmental case managers, mental health support teams, medical staff, interpreting services and education staff.”
The new centre, which is five kilometres outside the town of Northam, will accommodate up to 600 single adult males who are at various stages of visa processing.
There are a variety of buildings onsite, including office facilities, interview rooms, medical facilities and storage sheds, as well as detainee facilities.
The DIAC spokesperson said ongoing consultation with the local community and stakeholders will continue with today’s arrival of the first detainee clients.
“We have been in constant discussion with the local community ,” the spokesman said.
“This has included meetings with state government agencies, local government, near neighbours to the centre, religious groups and members of the Indigenous community; and these discussions will continue during the centre’s operation.”