‘A Price Too High: The cost of Australia’s approach to Asylum Seekers,’ a joint report by Oxfam and A Just Australia, presents new research that found since 2001 it has cost the Australian taxpayer more than $500,000 per person to process fewer than 1,700 asylum seekers in Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island. By comparison, the latest estimate from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship suggests that the cost of holding asylum seekers in a mainland Australian detention centre is only 3.5% of the running costs of the Pacific Solution.
‘The Pacific Solution is neither value for money nor humane,’ said Executive Director of Oxfam Australia, Andrew Hewett. In six years since Tampa the cost of the Pacific Solution to the Australian taxpayer has been $1 billion. We are calling on the Australian National Audit Office to investigate the full financial cost of the Pacific Solution.’
The research found that The Pacific Solution has been both costly to the nation’s taxpayers as well as to the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers who have had to endure years of isolated offshore detention, compounding post traumatic stress disorder after having fled persecution from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.