Monday, April 19, 2010

The healthy economy that asylum seekers bring

After being closed eight years ago, the Curtin Detention Centre in a remote region of Western Australia is to be reopened. It will accommodate Afghani and Sri Lankan asylum seekers while processing of their claims has been suspended by the Rudd Government, until at least after the next election.

Elsia Archer, president of the remote municipality in which Curtin is located, is quite upbeat about the opportunities in a detention-led economy.

There can be some business for the town and some work for people if they so want to go and work there. Having worked in the last one when it was there, there can be some quite good spin-offs for the shire. I ran a little shop for the resies... I thought it was good. I mean, you get your ups and downs in places like that but probably no different to a prison.

The only downside according to Ms Archer is the “discontent” — meaning, riots by detainees. But “there was only a couple though.”

It’s only a matter of time before more local politicians catch on and will want a detention centre or prison to service their constituency.

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