13 May 2015

Australia to close Christmas Island detention centre

9:23 am on 13 May 2015

Australia's 2015 Budget includes plans to close down the asylum seeker detention centre on Christmas Island.

Christmas Island detention centre

Christmas Island detention centre Photo: Supplied

The Island's Shire president, Gordon Thomson, told the ABC the move to use the facilities only on a contingency basis would ruin the island's economy by shedding jobs.

But a spokesman for the Darwin Asylum Seekers Support and Advocacy Network, Ben Pynt, says the advocacy community will welcome the move.

He says the Christmas Island detention centre is out of sight and out of mind, and it's difficult for asylum seekers and refugees to access justice, and find a lawyer who can represent them from so far away.

He says the asylum seekers and possible refugees on Christmas Island will probably be relocated to Darwin.

Australia also has asylum seeker detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.