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Australian PM says no new system in detention centers

(Xinhua)

13:51, January 03, 2012

SYDNEY, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday denied local media reports about the changes to the system in the Immigration detention centers.

"I've seen these reports today and there is no new system in our detention centers," she told reporters in Sydney.

"Investments we've made on Christmas Island are known already and they've been publicly announced, but the sense in today's reports that there is a new system in operation is simply not right," she said.

Australia's News Ltd reported that the Immigration Department and its contractor, the detention center manager Serco, were improving the system of rewards, incentives and punishments to better manage a fractious detainee population.

According to News Ltd reports, detainees deemed low-risk are being allowed to leave Curtin, in Western Australia's far north for the low-security and temperate detention center near Hobart in Tasmania, while troublesome asylum seekers on the mainland are increasingly being flown to Christmas Island to be locked down in cells.

However, the Prime Minster has declined the suggestion the system has changed.

"There have always been administrative arrangements made so that asylum seekers are held in detention facilities that are most suitable for them," Gillard said.

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