Police asked to help at Inverbrackie, Port Augusta

POLICE are being called to disturbances at Inverbrackie detention centre because the Federal Government cannot guarantee adequate security.
SA Police Assistant Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier yesterday told a federal parliamentary inquiry that 13 "incidents" had been reported at the centre in the past year, including three child protection matters.

Private security contractor Serco handles minor incidents at the facilities but SA Police are called in when they escalate.
Assistant Commissioner Killmier said police resources were also being used to meet demands from the Ellis Close detention facility at Port Augusta when the responsibility was the Commonwealth's.
"SAPOL attendance, particularly at these two rural detention centres, removes officers from policing their local communities," Ms Killmier said yesterday.
"SAPOL should not be involved in any capacity, but due to the Commonwealth's inability to provide a response capability, SAPOL must be involved from a public safety and emergency management viewpoint."
There have also been a number of escapes from the facilities, including that of two Vietnamese teenagers who went missing from the Ellis Close centre in July.

Liberal MP for the Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo Jamie Briggs said the "farcical" situation raised concerns about how a major disturbance at the centre would be handled.

An Immigration Department spokesman said the department was involved in continuing discussions about the involvement of police at Inverbrackie.
"We call on SAPOL on an as-needed basis and appreciate the assistance with managing incidents in detention centres when required," the spokesman said.
"We are continuing to develop memoranda of understandings with both state and federal police agencies, including SAPOL, on responding to incidents in detention."
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she was highly concerned that unaccompanied minors above the age of 12 who were staying at the Port Augusta facility had not been attending school for several months.
She said that would be likely to lead to social isolation and could increase the risk of mental illness.(adelaidenow.com.au)
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Inverbrackie unsatisfactory: advocates

CHILD advocates say an immigration detention centre at Inverbrackie in the Adelaide Hills is unsatisfactory.
The Australian Children's Commissioners and Guardians group will present its concerns at a federal parliamentary inquiry in Adelaide today.
In its written submission the group has been critical of the play group and health services for children at Inverbrackie.
It said very little thought had been given to the experiences of children who attended the play group, describing it as a perfunctory arrangement.
"The environment is dark, unstimulating and uninviting and appeared to be used more as an area for adults than for children," it said.
The group said health services at Inverbrackie also appeared to be provided primarily for adults with little attention paid to the physical and emotional needs of children.
"While two of the nursing staff are reported to have trained in child health, there was little evidence that children's health was considered a core component of the health service," the submission said.
The group has called for all detention centres accommodating children to be required to meet the same childhood development standards applied to all pre-schools, long day care, family day care and out of school hours care.
The federal inquiry into Australia's Immigration Detention Network will also tour Inverbrackie today.
The facility was formally used for defence housing and was refurbished in 2010 to be used as a low-security, family orientated detention centre with room to accommodate up to 400 people.
Its use prompted some community protests but opposition has since subsided.(adelaidenow.com.au)


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