The Federal Government is responsible.
CCL, and numerous organisations have been warning the Morrison Government of the threat COVID-19 poses to those in detention. These include the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases and the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control.
Most have been urging the government to close immigration detention centres and release the detainees into the community, because of the risk of COVID-19 infection getting in. The worry was, and is, that the conditions inside are such that if any detainee, or any guard for that matter, contracted the virus, it would spread quickly throughout the centre.
The Australian Human Rights Commission recommended a reduction in detainee numbers and various other changes, such as making social distancing easier, or in some cases, possible. Management of COVID-19 risks in immigration detention (2021)
In spite of the fact that that COVID did get into the Park Hotel Alternative Place of Detention in Melbourne, Catastrophe at Park Hotel as 20 refugees and people seeking ...
where half of the detainees have contracted the virus, the Government did not close that centre nor any others. They attempted instead to keep the virus out of other centres, and have failed.
Now, six detainees in Villawood have tested positive. (Link no longer available)
We await with horror to see how many others have caught it, and whether detainees with comorbidities will get seriously ill or worse.
CCL once again demands that the centres be closed before there are mass deaths.