YONGAH Hill Immigration Detention Centre is now operational.
The first detainees – 84 of them – arrived at about midday last Wednesday.
This was just two days after the media inspection of the facility.
Most of the detainees are from Afghanistan with some from Pakistan.
Shire president councillor Steve Pollard was advised virtually simultaneously with the detainees’ arrival while members of the Community Reference Group were notified shortly after wards.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has advised there would be “further transfers from facilities across the detention network to occur in the coming weeks”.
In the lead-up to the centre’s opening, the Northam Chamber of Commerce was heavily involved in consultations with the centre operator Serco regarding the supply of goods and services to the centre by local businesses.
Chamber president Paul Tomlinson said he had not been notified which local companies had been successful.
“I am expecting to be told shortly and I am anxious that the undertakings given over an extended period will be honoured,” he said.