The detention centre in Pontville, near Hobart, is scheduled to close in late March, six months after the arrival of detainees on October 1.THE temporary immigration detention centre at Pontville in the state’s South is scheduled to close in late March, six months from the arrival of the first detainees on October 1, an Immigration Department spokeswoman said yesterday.
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The centre had initially been scheduled to open in May last year and close the following October.

One of the reasons for establishing the centre was to meet demand while two new centres were being built, one in Western Australia and the other in the Northern Territory.

Both the new centres are now operating.

The 65 most recent asylum seekers to be housed at Pontville arrived on New Year’s Eve after being processed on Christmas Island.

They were from a number of countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Palestine.

According to the department, a special Christmas lunch was held on Christmas day for the small number of Christian asylum seekers at Pontville and a religious service was also available.

The spokeswoman said all activities and events – including soccer, cricket and English language tuition – had been running as normal during the Christmas/New Year period.

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