$1 billion detention centre bill

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Detaining asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru has cost Australian taxpayers around $1.22 billion in the last financial year.

According to information given during a Senate Estimates hearing on Monday, the Federal Government spent $632.3 million on the Manus Island (PNG) detention centre, and $582.4 million to maintain operations in Nauru.

The funds were used to cover the costs of staff and paying both PNG and Nauru to support the centres, as well as transporting detainees to and from the processing centres, and providing them with health services.

Deputy Secretary of Immigration, Mark Cormack defended the costs, saying that “Stopping boats is saving lives and saving billions of dollars.” He claimed that the cost of detention centres has, in fact, dropped over the last calendar year.

The estimates hearing found that whereas 20,711 asylum seekers arrived in Australia in the previous year, this calendar year has seen only 164 arrivals. This equates to a saving of $2.5 billion, and is part of a scheme by the federal government, which aims to reduce the number of onshore detention centres from 25 to 15.

Read more on TheAge.com.au

Opinion: The real cost

Thousands of people seeking asylum from the oppression or unrest in their own countries arrive on Australia’s shores, only to be remanded in detention centres for interminable amounts of time.

We know from the limited but ominous news reports that are leaked to us, that people are suffering inside our detention centres. They suffer from unsafe, unclean living conditions, which make them unwell. They suffer from minor medical conditions, such as mosquito bites, which when left untreated, become infected.  They suffer from emotional and mental illnesses from being locked up. And we know they suffer shockingly at the hands of those who are hired to care for them, from direct and indirect actions.

Let’s not forget the Iranian asylum seeker, Hamid Kehazaei, who died in September from septicaemia after cutting his foot on Manus Island. This 24 year old man would still be alive if he’d been given the necessary basic and early medical treatment.  And though other similar reports have been exposed, we can really only guess how many asylum seekers are experiencing similar, devastating predicaments as Hamid. The mental, physical and emotional effects of these experiences must surely worsen the longer a person is incarcerated.

The federal government is so worried about money, about locking people up, and pushing refuge-seeking boats away from our shores with the tip of its boot, that it fails to remember that there are human lives aboard. 

I don’t know if $1.22 billion is enough, or too much to spend on those you’ve forced into captivity. But surely these asylum seekers deserve more than simply representing a $1.22 billion dollar burden to Australian taxpayers.

What do you think? Do you believe that we are helping asylum seekers by denying them entry to Australia? Is it right for Australia to detain people for an interminable amount of time while we work out what to do with them? Should taxpayers’ money be used to help detain asylum seekers?

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Written by ameliath

493 Comments

Total Comments: 493
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    We must draw the line somewhere.
    A small country like Australia (only 24 million people) cannot afford this.
    Return the mainly Muslims to where they come from.
    Hockey want us to pay $7.00 to visit a doctor, yet they waste our money like water.
    STOP THE BOATS.

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      Why ? We’ve had it too good for too long ! Its time to share !

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      24 Million Ay ?..Well its only costing each of us about 50 Bucks each a Year ! Don’t be Mean !!

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      We have a shortage of water. We don’t even have enough to sustain food crops in some regions. How can we support more than are born here as supplies diminish?

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      They said they would only Shower once a Year if You let them In !!

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      Particolor, I don’t believe they would only shower once a year. Who are you trying to kid?? 24 million – not all of them are taxpayers. Can pensioners afford to have their pensions reduced to contribute to pay $50.00?I don’t think so! ! Also some of the 24 million are young children.

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      Yes I counted them ! They can get it out of their Piggy Banks !! Opps !! Sorry!!! Some of them wouldn’t be allowed to have one of those Items in the House !!

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      Wake up people, with 80% of these illegal gate crashing boat people still unemployed after 5 years here, it is not a few million, but 10s of billions they are adding to our welfare bill.

      They are taking a huge percentage of the public housing from Ozzies, who have much more right to it than these free loaders. How many homeless are you prepared to accept to house this wave of the useless.

      Surely it should open your eyes, when once they have residency, they go back to that place they fled in fear of their lives, to get a wife.

      Some people are so stupid they are bound to be suckers for their entire lives.

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      Come Back to Strailya With Me ? Everything FREE !!!

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      Do you think Kevin Rudd had the right idea? Charge them $50,000 each, which includes papers, free English lessons, a full years subscription to the ALP and fast tracked registration on the electoral roll.

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      Don’t mention that fool here he was a real bully that one.

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      I think a better Idea was someone’s suggestion of Dock all Payment from Centrelink and Work (If they know that word) until they have paid back every Cent they have Cost the Australian Public since their Bon Voyage !!..

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      Let them in . we save 1.2 billion’ Joe may rethink the co payment.

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      Kevin Rudd and Gough Whitlam had that in common. Both were hated by the rest of their party.

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      Yeah but I don’t think it upset them.

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      Yes, stop the boats. Agree with Hasbeen and Particolor.

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      Here goes Frank again. Trolling for this government. Selling his soul for the very few fistful of dollars he is paid to defame the other side of politics.
      Whilst I do not vote for either side of politics I do note that there is only one side which is contemptuous and makes corruption an artform.

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      I think the Navy should turn them back for Unseaworthiness and Overloading !!

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      As soon as they hit our shores throw them on a plane and send them right back to Indonesia. That’s where they are coming from. Stand up to Indonesia and tell them no more foreign aid if they don’t do their bit to stop the boats leaving there.

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      Green Tick Gra …

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      Interesting how many asylum seekers/refugees return to their homeland for holidays……….if they are truly experiencing the risk of persecution in their homeland how come they return to it? I think that if they are returning to their homeland for a holiday they should pay their bill for food and shelter and medical bills from the detention centres, and how many are there who are going to sue the government with the help of the bleeding hearts for mental illness “resulting from” being in detention? Are other countries where the facilities are not the standard we have being sued for “mental illness”?

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      Interestingly after 5 years in Australia, Rudd’s low skilled non English speaking boat people remain unemployed and on welfare. After 5 years only 10% are employed and 95% are on welfare. They still have plenty of money for a few trips back home. The numbers of those returning and suspected of being jihadists are growing.

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      You cant put a Price on an Educational Training Coarse in Iran Frank !!

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      After watching Tonight’s News 29.10.2014. I’m not Offended ! I’m DISGUSTED !!.
      Who let them Animals into this Country ????

  2. 0
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    We cannot let just anyone come in just because they fancy Australia. I, as a migrant back in 1960 had to do a lot of things to be allowed to come here to this wonderful country, we in fact were invited, these people are not like “us” and are usually of a different religion which normally would not bother me at all,l however these asylum seekers seek to change the fabric of our society. Why don’t they stay in their own countries and try to make them better.

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    All based on the presumption that anyone knocking on the door is a refugee. So I assume the author thinks all those phone calls from Microsoft help are legit too.

  4. 0
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    Amelia have you allowed how much the lawyers representing the ECONOMICAL ALIENS are going to bill all of us taxpayers in their court action against myself and all my fellow australians Also would it be possible to find the costing to US when Andrew Wikie pursues Abbot ,Morrison plus others in the International Criminal Court.When will the penny finally drop and the minority of people realize that we voted for the Liberal party to Stop the boats. Common sense will tell you this plan of border protection in the long run will be cheaper AND ABOVE ALL PEOPLE ARE NOT DROWNING IN THEIR HUNDREDS

  5. 0
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    Amelia, ask your grandfather/grandmother or great grandparents, who would have contributed immensely to the growth of Australia, what they think about the conditions under which illegal arrivals are kept. Your great grandparents most likely would have endured harsher conditions even though they were invited to this country. They possibly arrived under the not so politically correct (now) White Australia Policy. The conditions under which illegal arrivals are kept would be better than those which they left behind if they are true refugees. If they are economic ‘refugees’, hopefully they will be processed asap and sent back to where they came from.

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      But they don’t want to go back ! Its against their Will !! They will appeal with one of the Fancy Lawyers Provided ! Time and Time again if need be ??

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      Who is paying for the lawyers? We the taxpayers? Our taxes are supposed to be supplying various essential services to the Australian citizens, whether the be born here or those who migrated to Australia legally. Most illegal immigrants are paying thousands of dollars to come to Australia? A lot disposed of their documents. That delays the process of being processed and being allowed to live as they wish.

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      I’ve cited elsewhere and repeatedly that my great-greats came here to escape poverty, injustice, discrimination, and violence, as well as the never-ending European wars. They were German Jews, Irish, Scottish ……. a fair representation.

      If they’d been treated the same way as current applicants are, there would be several fewer successful businesses in this country….

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      My Great Greats were Gypsies They got Booted out of Rumania for Stealing Chooks !!

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      Ah SAY there Boy.

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      Grappler

      It is not clear from your comment whether or not great-greats had, and produced, a passport/visa to gain entry or otherwise came into this country under an officially recognised programme.

      If they did, then you need to rethink your opinion.

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      They all arrived in an Old Army Duck !!

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      I have been told by a chap who came out here as a 10 pound Pom back in the 60’s and conditions he and his family lived in on arriving in Adelaide until they got settled weren’t much different to what these illegals are living in now. If anything, what he and his family lived in were worse – they weren’t provided with TV’s, personal computers, mobile phones etc.

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      Not until they are granted refugee status Particolor, then they want to go back and visit family in that place that is so terrible and treated them so harshly they had to leave. Makes a mockery of the whole setup.

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      Yes I’ve noticed !! And when the Place they are visiting Explodes into violence Again they DEMAND to be rescued and flown back to Australia ?? Who Runs the Show Here ?? Its Got Me Stuffed ??

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      What’s that in Arabic written up there ??.. A warning to Infidels ?? or something !!

  6. 0
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    So Amelia, are you deriding the present Govt. that was ‘saddled’ with a huge number of illegals and is/has done an enormous lot of work to rectify the situation. As for the condition of their quarters on Manus, what are they the illegals doing to keep their area clean or are they just hellbent on destruction of where they live, wash up, sweep out, use and clean the toilets (they do know what a toilet is I hope). They do have basic medical services, but when someone abuses the first need of cleanliness then anything can happen.
    Perhaps the personal contact of/by those tasked to care for them, could be abusive in response to the spitting and pissing at/on the locals, its a two way street in respect, responsibility and discipline.

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      The current government, in its previous existence, contributed to the issue.. this is not a Party issue, much as many would like it to be – both have made serious errors. The question is – is the current error the best way to go?

      Spitting and pissing at locals means the locals can enter the camp and bash them?

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      They do it here too! What’s the dif ?? My friend got 2 Fingers the other day for telling one of them we don’t spit in the Street Here !!

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      Stoker, you are correct. An article in the Fairfax media published corruption in our Immigration Dept. as well as approximately 200,000 illegal immigrants and 55,000 came on leaky boats.

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      Sorry for the people on Manus Island having spent a number of years there.
      The Island was like Paradise on earth and now it looks like a huge garbage tip.
      It is sad.

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      I’ll have the Mango Island Council clean it up Immediately !!

  7. 0
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    I do not believe that we are unfair towards legitimate immigration. But these people are illegal immigrants and deserve no right, nor legal representation – all of which cost the Australian tax payer a lot of money.
    The bleeding hearts continue to play the sympathy card but I feel for the people who are going through the proper process coming to Australia who are being pushed back further in the queue by these illegals. I would not even be putting them in detention, but rather fueling their boats and providing food for their immediate turn around trip back to where they came.

  8. 0
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    Charity begins at home, if you want to keep them and contribute to their stay, please do so. Our forefathers faught and died for this country, let them do the same in their own countries.

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      Your forefathers did not fight for this country. They try to exterminate the indigenous people of this country. They fought like slaves for the British colonial power. Now for the US.

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      Talking about fighting for your country. If you learn something about fighting over 1500 years it’s this. People will only fight if they know they’re going to win. That’s another reason for coalition forces to lend a hand. Not long after the announcement that Dash was being degraded and hundreds killed, Turkey announced it will now enter the war. Of course some Dash fighters will change out of their uniform and jump on a leaky boat to somewhere.

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      Who are the Dash and why are they Dashing ??

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      Dash is the new name for IS, ISIL ….try to keep up parti!

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      And what will they call themselves next week ??? NWO ? That’s a Uniform ? They look like they just climbed out of a Skip !!

    • 0
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      Dash and Dashing by joves that sounds like Joe and Matt.

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      Frank
      You hit the nail on the head “Of course some Dash fighters will change out of their uniform and jump on a leaky boat to somewhere”

      Yes they will be seeking assylum possibly in Australia

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      Abby, my feeling is that the Da’ish are the ones with the money. They are getting it from the sale of vegemite, donations from the Zakat, oil sales, bank robbery, extortion etc.
      It says in the Hadith they are entitled to financial assistance from the Zakat. So if they don’t have the cash for the ticket back home…….
      “• IBN-US-SABEEL: persons who are travellers and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakat in order to fulfill travel needs to return home.”

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      Donations over $2 will be Tax Deductable !!

  9. 0
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    The perennial issue. And the real costs are not available lest the public revolt.
    We will always have the two camps. On one side there is the Sarah Hanson Young (complete with morose face for the cameras) crowd who want to build a bridge so that these folk can come as they please. On the other side there are those who realise that there is a cost to all of us and that if we do not act sensibly then we will become the new third world.
    Its not easy but what do you do?

    • 0
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      It depends on which electorate you’re in doesn’t it mick?

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      I don’t live in Manly Frank. That is the place I might expect a Liberal Party troll to reside in. Having read your anti Labor spew above I can only believe that you must be good friends with Christopher Pyne and Jeff Kennett as both behave like you mate.

  10. 0
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    Please bear in mind that they have to undergo health checks and have treatment prior to being released too.

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