The Refugee Action Coalition understands that the first group of people being transferred from Yongah Hill immigration
detention centre in Western Australia to detention on Christmas Island have been moved from the Yongah Hill detention
centre, today, Friday, 14 August. They will arrive on Christmas Island this afternoon.
After initial moves last Tuesday were stalled by protests inside the centre, people slated for transfer were given
superficial medical check-ups on Wednesday. The 'check-ups' however did not include a test for COVID-19 infection; the
only checks were for temperature, weight, blood sugar and blood pressure.
The move to re-open Christmas Island has raised concerns of refugee advocates across Australia. The government is
ignoring overwhelming medical opinion that people in immigration detention should be released, both for public health
and mental health reasons.
Potentially the move is the beginning of a major reshuffle of people in immigration detention that can only magnify the
risk of covid infection. Some people in immigration detention Melbourne have been told that they are liable to be moved
from Melbourne to Christmas Island via Yongah Hill as part of the reshuffle
Alongside the health risks there is the on-going human rights abuse that immigration detention involves. Anyone in
detention on Christmas Island will be even more isolated from family and legal support.
The tragic death of Daniel Harvey in Melbourne’s detention centre last Monday also highlights the increased dangers of
"Daniel did not get proper medical care in a major city," said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action
Coalition, " There is no way that serious medical conditions can be managed on Christmas Island.
“The sensible and safe alternative is for the government to release people from immigration detention into the
community. There are families and enough individual offers to provide safe community accommodation for all those in
In Brisbane, a protest is planned at the Kangaroo Point hotel, Raymond Park, (Wellington Rd, Kangaroo Point) Saturday 15
August 12 noon, to call for the release of all those being held in Kangaroo Point and across Australia.
A rally to “Close Christmas Island, Free Refugees from Kangaroo Point,” will be held Tuesday 18 August, 8.00am, Qld
Parliament House, George Street to march to the Immigration Department, Adelaide St.