Asylum seeker centers in Western Australia reach capacity

14:41, June 29, 2010      

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Temporary asylum seeker detention centers recently opened in Western Australia (WA) are already full, highlighting the need for a purpose-built permanent facility, WA Premier Colin Barnett said on Tuesday.

Barnett told reporters in Perth on Tuesday that Immigration Minister Chris Evans had assured him Leonora town of WA can take another 20 or 30 asylum seekers and it would be a temporary arrangement.

"Well it's already heading up towards 200, Leonora's basically full, the Curtin air force base site is also basically full, so where to now?

"Again I suggest the commonwealth might actually start to talk in a sensible and cooperative way with the states."

According to Australian Associated Press, Barnett said if asylum seekers were to be accommodated in WA it was incumbent on the federal government to build a purpose-built facility instead of making short-term temporary arrangements.

He said he was not in favor of expanding Leonora because it was an isolated place for asylum seekers to stay.

"I know the people of Leonora are quite happy with the arrangement, I'm pleased about that.

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