$1 Billion for the Coalition's Nauru Plan
Saturday, 10 September 2011
The Opposition's plan to resurrect offshore processing on Nauru would cost almost $1 billion in operational costs alone, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, said today.
Mr Bowen said estimates based on current detention standards showed that operational costs for a processing centre on Nauru would cost $980 million over four years, not including the inevitable infrastructure spending that would also be required.
'The Opposition has already been provided with very clear advice that Nauru is no silver bullet and that it does not break the people smuggling trade,' Mr Bowen said.
'So we know that Nauru won't work, and now we know it's expensive as well – despite bold claims by the Opposition that it would be cheaper than the government's Malaysia transfer arrangement.
'Well, they got it very wrong, and it's not cheaper. These estimates show that the Coalition's Nauru plan would cost the taxpayer around $1 billion in operational costs alone.
'To break the people smugglers' business model, you need to have significant disincentives in place and take away the product they're trying to sell – a ticket to Australia.
'We know Nauru doesn't do that, with the majority of those genuine refugees resettled last time ending up in Australia.'
The operational estimates for Nauru are over four years for a 1500 person facility and include the processing of asylum claims and associated costs.
Mr Bowen said despite the government releasing the Solicitor-General's legal advice and providing a special Opposition briefing, Mr Abbott continued to ignore the facts about Nauru.
'Mr Abbott ignores the climate scientists, he ignores the economists, now he seems to be ignoring legal experts and departmental advice on Nauru,' he said.
Last update: Tuesday, 13 September 2011 at 10:18 AEST