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10.2.15

Cost of holding each asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru - $400,000 per year

The Refugee Action group has identified that it costs $400,000 per asylum seeker to be held on Manus Island and Nauru 

It says

"At the same time as Abbott is imposing cuts across the board, his budget devotes $8.3 billion over four years to locking up refugees—much of it to pay for dumping asylum seekers in the camps on Manus Island and Nauru. This enormous sum could completely reverse Abbott’s cuts to Medicare, welfare payments for under 30s, education and health combined over the next four years. It is a stark example of the government’s priorities.
Cost of detention per person a year (Souce: National Commission of Audit)
Detaining a single asylum seeker on Manus or Nauru costs $400,000 per year. Detention in Australia costs $239,000 per year. By contrast, allowing asylum seekers to live in the community while their claims are processed costs just $12,000 per year, one twentieth of the cost of the offshore camps, and even less if they are allowed the right to work."


Mike Griffin has written a paper for distribution at the the markets and this is attached.

It explains what powers the Government now has to deal with incoming asylum seekers and it is apparent that it does not include existing asylum seekers. Otherwise they would just deport the people held on Nauru and Manus Island.

The main point is that the Government has stopped the boats and that holding the asylum seekers in detention is not a deterrent as the new powers mean that can send back any new asylum seekers.

So it is a hugely expensive punishment.

As we approach the anniversary of the death of Reza Benati, we can reflect how long these asylum seekers have been on Manus Island, and the cost of this cruel approach.

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