16 February 2022
The company behind Australia’s offshore processing regime on Nauru made a staggering $101 million profit last financial year – more than $500,000 for each of the fewer than 200 people held on the island at the time, according to its most recent accounts filed with the corporate regulator.
Francis Sullivan, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, said today it is a disgrace that the companies running the detention centre continue to make obscene profits as the number of refugees on the island continues to fall.
“The cost to hold a single refugee on Nauru has escalated tenfold to more than $350,000 every month – or $4.3m a year – since 2016,” Mr Sullivan said.
“In May 2016, Australia held 1,193 people on Nauru at a cost of some $45,000 a month per person, or $534,000 a year according to Government figures.
“As numbers have fallen to approximately 115 people currently held on the island, the cost has ballooned.
“Australian taxpayers are now paying more than $4 million each year to hold a single refugee or asylum seeker on Nauru, or nearly $12,000 a day.
“Imagine what that sort of money could provide to Australia’s most disadvantaged if only the Government were to adopt a reasonable, compassionate approach to refugees seeking a safe home and a life beyond war-torn countries,” Mr Sullivan said.
The Guardian Australia reports that from November 2017 to January 2021, the Australian government spent more than $1.67bn on “garrison and welfare” for those held on the island. The vast majority of that – nearly $1.3bn – was paid to its three “primary entities”: construction and facilities management firm Canstruct International; healthcare provider International Health and Medical Services (IHMS); and the government of Nauru.
Nauru offshore detention company making huge profits, Catholic Leader
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