Baxter Immigration Reception and Processing Centre
or commonly just Baxter Detention Centre
, was an Australian immigration detention facility
near the town of Port Augusta
in South Australia
. It was the focus of much of the controversy concerning the mandatory detention
of asylum seekers
in Australia. It was located on part of the site of the Australian Defence Force
's El Alamein Army Barracks and became operational in September 2002
. It closed in August 2007, some of the buildings removed, and the land returned to the Department of Defence. In May 2008, a public auction was held for the surplus material remaining in the complex.
The Centre was built by Thiess Constructions Proprietary Ltd, in partnership with Australasian Correctional Management
(ACM). ACM and Thiess were chosen by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
. Australasian Correctional Management is responsible for the administration of the Centre.
The Centre has suffered several arsons by protesting detainees, the latest on 12 November 2005 causing extensive damage and forcing the evacuation of 58 detainees, of whom 4 were treated for smoke inhalation. Minister for Immigration, Amanda Vanstone, said of the incident: "we don't expect however for people to resort to property damage as a way of handling that frustration and particularly property damage that can put the lives of others at risk."