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Centacare welcomes SA Govt moves to protect incarcerated children

Catholic welfare agency Centacare has welcomed the South Australian Premier's call for State authorities to be given access to detention centres to check on the well-being of incarcerated children.

Premier John Olsen says he will seek a memorandum of understanding between the Commonwealth and the states this week, so that those responsible for security at the centres must immediately notify state authorities if any allegations are made of unlawful activities involving young children.

Centacare's Dale West said the move is overdue.

He told ABC News: "There's no doubt in my mind that in the year 2000 there were children living with the state bounaries who were unsafe and that was partly because of the lack of understanding of the relationship between Federal and state bodies," he said.

"It's natural that I would then welcome any move to establish protocols that everyone knew were clear for the sake of the safety of those children."

Mr Olsen said there are currently 12 unaccompanied children at the Woomera Detention Centre, in South Australia's north.