Archived News Item

Stop the construction of Christmas Island detention centre

Toward the end of November last year, plans for a new government refugee holding facility on Christmas Island were leaked to the public. Three months on, construction is well underway.




Compassion, not incarceration, is a better way for refugees (November 20, 2006 media release from National Council of Churches in Australia)

“If what we are hearing about the new centre on Christmas Island is true this sounds more like a prison than anything else,” said the Reverend John Henderson, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia.


“Our society will be judged by the way we treat those in need. Compassion and fairness are marks of a truly civilised society, upholding values of human dignity and individual worth.  To hold people fleeing persecution in such intrusive, high-security conditions is inappropriate and unacceptable,” said Mr Henderson.


“What have become of the 2005 Palmer Inquiry and recent nation-wide Immigration Department community consultations on how to improve services, including community care models, for asylum seekers?”


“We would welcome genuine reassurances from the government that it does not intend to clamp down even harder on those who have already suffered severe harm. In recent times there has been a lot of talk of so-called “˜Christian values’ including by many in government. We would like to see such values reaffirmed in the cause of human rights and treating our neighbour as we would ourselves want to be treated,” Mr Henderson concluded. MORE


Australian government to construct a “Guantanamo Bay” for asylum-seekers on Christmas Island (November 16, 2006 media release from A Just Australia)

A Just Australia expressed its outrage at the blueprints for the new immigration detention centre to be built on Christmas Island released today. As part of the internationally criticised “˜Pacific Solution’, Christmas Island has been one of the places the Australian government has warehoused asylum-seekers in sub-standard conditions. MORE


Refugee Action Collective Victoria

View photos of the detention centre HERE.




Write a letter to your Federal MP HERE.


Download and sign a petition sponsored by the National Council of Churches in Australia, A Just Australia, the Refugee Action Collective Victoria and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre – Stop the construction of the Christmas Island Detention Centre.


From: Specific Issues Committee, Asylum Seekers and Refugees (Sisters Sally Bradley, Claudette Cusack, Lorraine Phelan and Mary Quinn)


Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator