"Noah's Ark" emerged in Manus Island. It is fully furnished with a large bar, restaurant, gymnasium and a rooftop terrace to complement the relaxing view of the pristine waters of the Manus Island, off Papua New Guinea.
The catch? It is apparently a floating hotel costing $6000-a-night.
The bigger catch? This floating hotel, dubbed as "Noah's Ark" by the hapless refugees and asylum seekers at the island, housed immigration staff working for Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Manus Island asylum seeker solution, The Courier Mail reported.
A spokesman for Federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged that the floating hotel served as new working and housing facility for immigration staff, security workers and building contractors for the Manus Island detention centre.
The facility is called the Bibby Progress.
"The Bibby Progress will accommodate up to 635 staff. Facilities include central kitchen and dining facilities, recreational facilities, laundry facilities and bedsit style accommodation.'' Mr Morrison's spokesman told The Courier Mail.
The Bibby Progress is owned by a UK based company called Bibby Maritime. The government had brought the Bibby Progress at Manus Island from Singapore where it was revamped for the comfort of the staff.
"Bibby Progress could provide your workforce with a self-contained facility offering everything needed to make their time away from home as comfortable as possible. A Coastel is a floating accommodation vessel suitable for mooring alongside a berth or quay. It can be used to accommodate workers on projects taking place in remote locations or where existing accommodation is expensive or difficult to find. All our vessels provide onboard canteens and restaurants, leisure facilities, and laundries, and can also offer conference/training rooms and office spaces. Fully serviced vessels come with power, heating, aircon & waste management," as written from Bibby's Maritime official Web site.
According to the AusTenders Web site, the Federal Immigration Department hired the Bibby Progress for $1,295,475 - or $6110-a-night - from October 31 until May 31 to serve as temporary housing facility for the staff.
Manus Island, currently, housed 1101 detainees. Reports of violence, unrest and sexual assaults flocked the island. Two weeks ago, staff had to be transferred to the HMAS Choules and be locked down while there had been a clash between PNG police and military personnel.
The Federal Opposition saw the renting of the Bibby Progress as one of Mr Abbott's another "flippant" decision making on the issue of asylum seekers.
"Buying back the boats was always a ridiculous idea. But I never realised Tony Abbott meant he was going to buy cruise ships," Opposition Finance spokesman Tony Burke said.
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