The Villawood Detention Centre in Western Sydney
26 November 2015 – Demelza Leslie (Radio NZ National)
New Zealanders being held at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney have told Labour Party leader Andrew Little they are living a purposeless existence.
Mr Little and his senior MP Phil Goff today visited the detention centre in western Sydney, following a visit to Canberra yesterday. They toured the facility this afternoon and spoke with three New Zealanders detained there.
Listen to one of the New Zealand detainees, Blair Rodger, on Checkpoint
Hundreds of New Zealanders are being held in various detention centres in Australia, under a law that allows non-citizens who have served prison sentences of more than a year to be held indefinitely while a decision is made on whether to deport them.
There are now more than 60 New Zealanders being held at the Villawood centre, which Mr Little said was reasonably new and tidy but very impersonal.
The worst thing for the detainees was that they weren’t told anything about their visa revocations, the Labour leader said.
One New Zealander who was fighting his deportation had been held there for three years and described his situation as very bleak, he said.
Listen to the partner of another New Zealand facing deportation from Australia on Checkpoint