Push to reopen Pontville to Afghani interpreters, families

A LABOR candidate has called for the Pontville Detention Centre to be reopened as a half-way house for Afghani interpreters and their families.

The Australian Government has granted 800 visas to Afghan interpreters and their families who worked alongside coalition troops in their fight against the Taliban.

About 280 interpreters and their families will settle in Newcastle, New South Wales.

Madeleine Ogilvie, who is running in the Southern seat of Denison, said Tasmania was well-placed to accommodate more threatened refugees already in detention on Manus Island.

Ms Ogilvie said yesterday that Pontville could be converted into a residential and training centre for refugees living in fear of reprisals.

She said the Pontville facility had been "mothballed" by the Federal Government as it forced refugees onto the "violence-ridden" detention centre at Manus Island.

All parties have signalled their intentions to push for the centre to be reopened in some capacity.

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