The following piece was published 29 March 2013, SBS World News Australia Radio.
By Ildi Amon
Christmas Island residents say the immigration detention centre on the island has brought some benefits – but many disadvantages.
Since the Island’s detention centre opened in 2001, thousands of asylum seekers have spent time being held there.
But Christmas Island’s residents say the centre is putting financial pressure on many of those who have lived on the Indian Ocean island for years.
General Secretary of the Union of Christmas Island Workers, Gordon Thomson, says up to 600 so-called fly-in-fly-out workers have inundated the island.
Mr Thomson has told Ildi Amon the cost of living is now more than in other remote Australian communities.