Tasmania welcomes reopening of Pontville detention centre

Tasmania has welcomed the reopening of the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre after local leaders lobbied for the decision.

The $14.8 million, 400-man camp outside Hobart has been maintained since its closure in March. It had housed asylum seekers behind its security fences for six months.

Premier Lara Giddings said the announcement by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen that the centre would reopen was a positive move for the rights of asylum seekers and for local jobs in the local Brighton municipality.

"As we saw with Kosovar refugees in the 1990s, after a period of initial apprehension, the Brighton community is now broadly supportive of the centre," Ms Giddings said.

"I believe today's announcement will be welcome news to local businesses.  The facility brought significant economic and social benefits to the state when it opened late last year, creating the equivalent of about 230 full-time jobs."

The reopening follows continued lobbying by Brighton mayor Tony Foster.  It also means a revival of work by the volunteer Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support network.

Follow the National Times on Twitter

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop