This move has all the hallmarks of attempting to keep real people out of the media spotlight. Humanising refugees is the last thing this government and Serco wants:
The company running the country’s immigration detention centres has upgraded how seriously it takes the unauthorised presence of media, putting it on par with a bomb threat or an escape.
The Serco document says “unauthorised” media presence at a detention centre is now considered “critical” – the highest possible threat level.
There has been an intense focus on the detention system over recent months after a number of protests and riots.
The Government says it is a serious issue if the media tries to gain unauthorised entry to a detention centre.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says it is important that people’s asylum claims are not compromised and they not be filmed.
He says the heightened alert is a matter for Serco.
“There is a media protocol in detention centres, and on those very rare occasions that media do not say they are media or attempt to gain unauthorised entry, that is a serious matter,” Mr Bowen said.
The Immigration Department says new classifications for incidents within detention centres only relate to how they are reported to the Government.
A department spokesman says the document only deals with the timeframe for reporting issues to the Government and has no bearing on how they are dealt with.