Monday, August 22, 2016

$1 million per refugee

That's how much money the Australian government has spent detaining and torturing refugees on Manus Island:

The detention centre on Manus Island has cost Australian taxpayers about $2 billion since it was reopened four years ago – more than $1 million for each of the 2000 people who have been imprisoned there.


While official figures relating to the cost of offshore detention are opaque, analysts in the Parliamentary Library have trawled years of Senate estimates hearing transcripts to piece together a total cost for Manus.

They show the centre has cost Australians at least $420 million to build and maintain, and $1.25 billion to run since the Gillard government reopened it in late 2012 – giving a total of more than $1.6 billion.

However the library's figures do not include the last year of capital costs or the last four months of operating costs, estimated to add hundreds of millions more. The figures also do not include the costs of resettlement, charter flights to and from the island, or the additional aid spending Australia has directed towards PNG in exchange for hosting the centre. Much of the money has been lost to corruption.

Its a ridiculous amount of money, and utter waste. Bringing these refugees to Australia and integrating them into Australian society would have been far, far cheaper (and they'd have 2,000 dedicated citizens to boot). But then I guess the Australian government wouldn't be able to win votes from racists.