A dystopian institution where displaced refugees are forced to work to pay for their upkeep by a government that insists immigrants will make, not cost, money.
Launceston-born author Rohan Wilson paints a frighteningly possible picture of an Australia 50 years into the future for his new novel Daughter of Bad Times.
Moving away from the historical fiction of The Roving Party and To Name Those Lost, Wilson instead looks to the near future for his third book, which was published by Allen & Unwin this week.
Taking inspiration from his historical fiction approach, Wilson used researched data and evidence "to construct a plausible, possible future based on the world we live in today".
The idea for Daughter of Bad Times came from Wilson's study of the Maldives and his questions around what would happen if the country disappeared due to climate change induced sea level rises.
"The Madives is in an archipelago where the highest point is less than 2 metres above sea level. That country is threatened and could disappear," Wilson said.
"I started to think about what happens to these people. Where will they go? Will governments open their doors to environmental refugees?
"We don't like bringing in refugees as it is," he said.
Many countries presented with this possible future have already started developing migration programs to help such environmental refugees, and it was through studying these scenarios that Wilson was prompted to consider 'what if?'
Instead of detention centres, Wilson creates an Australia where refugees are housed and work at "training centres", similar to privately-owned detention centres in the US or Chinese manufacturing facilities where employees work up to 15 hours each day and live on site.
"They're not terrible places to work - they take care of their employees - but they feed, clothes and surveil them at all times. It's not a prison, but it's basically a prison," he said.
"They work for a company who controls their behaviour and how they act. I felt that was an Australian experience."
I might be in Brisbane now, but will always write about Tasmania because it is close to my heart.Rohan Wilson
The fictitious training centre in Wilson's novel is Eaglehawk MTC, a "manufactory" built by the company owned by protagonist Rin Braden's mother.
A passage from the book reads:
"What better pitch than helping the refugees of the world? Who doesn't want to help refugees, right? The five Australian facilities are immigration detention centres, sure, but they're also manufacturing plants. That means two revenue streams for one facility. And we also clean up our image. We're not just a corrections company anymore - now, we're building communities, we're saving lives."
Once he had nutted out the idea Wilson said it "felt really plausible".
"The reviewers have all commented on how plausible it feels," he said.
Despite its cruel undercurrent, Daughter of Bad Times is a love story between Rin and Yamaan, who works at the training centre.
"At the centre of the book are two diametrically-opposed people - a rich American and a poor Maldivian man. It might have a grim setting, but it's about more than that."
Now based in Brisbane, where he teaches creative writing at the Queensland University of Technology, the critically-acclaimed author will return to his home state on Thursday for Petrarch's free author event.
"I don't feel Australian, I consider myself Tasmanian," Wilson said.
"It's a very little place. I might be in Brisbane now, but will always write about Tasmania because it is close to my heart."
While he keeps Tasmania in his heart and mind, Wilson has also tried to return to see his family in Launceston two or three times each year since moving in 2015.
"I'm looking forward to catching up with as many people as I can," he said.
Not one to leave his muse for too long, Wilson has been working on his next novel, which is a "partner book" to Daughter of Bad Times, for almost two years.
"It's not a sequel or a prequel, but I consider them like a married couple. The characters are similar, but it is set in the present day," he said.
The new story follows a man who has been estranged from his daughter for many years, but establishes a new relationship with her as an adult and gets to know her again by starting to play a video game with her.
"He gets drawn into the game and through that journey learns about the his past and all the things he's done wrong," Wilson said.
"It's a comedy. I've been having a laugh writing it."
Rohan Wilson will speak about Daughter of Bad Times at Petrarch's in Brisbane Street, Launceston, at 6pm on Thursday, May 16.