The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is proposing to redevelop the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre as part of its ‘Hardening Project’.
The redevelopment involves upgrades to two compounds within the facility, providing 120 higher security beds, associated support buildings, infrastructure and various physical security measures.
DIBP approached the market to tender for construction in March and applications closed on May 5, 2017.
A DIBP spokesperson told the Advocate they received five applications.
“We are currently reviewing the applications and will have made a decision by the end of the month,” said the spokesperson.
One of the companies that has applied for tender is Decmil.
The company held a local industry engagement session at the Northam Recreation Centre on the March 31, 2017.
More than 30 local contractors attended to hear the company explain the project in greater detail and how to be involved if Decmil was to be successful in securing the tender.
A spokesperson for the company said, “Decmil recognises the economic benefits that a project of this size can bring to local communities".
“To this end, should Decmil be successful with the tender, it is committed to engaging with local contractors for Yongah Hill across a number of packages from demolition and earthworks through to plumbing, electrical and landscaping.”
The detention centre will remain operational during construction and is estimated to be complete within 12 months. The centre was opened in Northam in 2012.
The DIBP proposal states the new measures are necessary because the profile of the detainees are predominantly medium to high-risk criminals.
“The held immigration detention population is reducing given lower risk detainees are generally placed in the community as soon as practicable," the proposal said.
“This has significantly changed the profile of the held immigration detention population with a growing proportion of the population being medium to high risk.
“An increasing number of the immigration detention population have had their visas cancelled on character grounds, due to criminal convictions and links to organised crime or outlaw motorcycle gangs.”