KEEPING teenage detainees who arrived at the Pontville detention centre this week out of local schools will deny them the chance to become part of the local community, Mission Australia state manager Noel Mundy says.
Forty-one unaccompanied minors, aged between 15 and 18, arrived at the centre yesterday, joining 85 who arrived on Tuesday and bringing the centre's population to 169.
Mr Mundy said holding children in mandatory detention was ``an entirely different proposition'' to holding adults.
``They have already dealt with some form of trauma in their previous lives, and then to be moved to the other side of the world ... they just don't have the coping mechanisms, they just don't have the support systems in place here,'' Mr Mundy said.
``Certainly attending a local school would help forge that community connection.''
An Immigration Department spokeswoman said the youths would have access to education ``in line with community standards and judicial requirements''.
``The department is currently investigation education options for the unsupervised minors located at the Pontville APOD [alternative place of detention],'' the spokeswoman said.
Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said he understood the youths would be tutored on-site but he hoped they would be able to mix with the community.
Braddon Greens MHA Paul O'Halloran has written to the federal government to request that Tasmanian Commissioner for Children, Aileen Ashford, have oversight of the unaccompanied minors in the centre.
``We have seen too many examples of children being neglected and traumatised in mandatory detention,'' Mr O'Halloran said.
He said the Greens opposed mandatory detention, but ``if people seeking asylum in Australia need to be detained, there's no better place than Brighton''.
Cr Foster said the community had reached out to the detainees since Pontville opened as a temporary detention centre in October, 2011, for what was supposed to be a finite six-month term.
``I think people are fairly understanding of the asylum seeker detention and worldwide refugee issue now compared to 12 to 15 months ago,'' he said.
Cr Foster said a recent cricket match held between members of the Indian community in Brighton and Afghani detainees was typical of the community's welcoming attitude.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen revealed late last year that the centre had remained open as a stand-in centre, and was now classed as an alternative place of detention.
The department spokeswoman said there were no plans to further upgrade the $15 million centre to reflect its continued use, and would not say how long it would remain open.
Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz said the centre was an example of wasteful spending caused by the government's poor immigration policies.
``The only silver lining in this shambolic display is that the money is going to be wasted in Tasmania,'' Mr Abetz said.
``But I don't think any Tasmanian sees it as a good economic venture to turn Tasmania into a detention centre.''