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The Forum > Article Comments > The Pacific Solution? An expensive solution > Comments

The Pacific Solution? An expensive solution : Comments

By Andrew Hewett and Kate Gauthier, published 28/8/2007

Six years after Tampa, the Australian National Audit Office should investigate the full financial cost of the Pacific Solution.

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Andrew, mysteriously you fail to mention the legal costs to us, the taxpayers once the asylum shoppers and alleged refugee hop on the legal treadmill. You want these people brought to Australia so they can soak up our legal resources. Are you a solicitor?

We have a refugee tribunal, legal representation, appeals process, more legal representation, AAT, the High Court and there seems to be no limit. Only recently we were told of the Indian national who has spent 22 years soaking up our dollars fighting his deportation.

Yesterday at Northmead I was asked by a collector to make a donation to the ‘Kids with Cancer’ fundraiser. On Friday 24th August, Sydney radio station 2GB organized an appeal to raise money. The aim was to raise $200,000 which would enable 4 people to have a cochlear implant. It seems that those two areas are subsidizing asylum shoppers and refugees.

Andrew, ‘fair go’ applies to Australians in my opinion. If you think it applies to all and sundry let’s see some of these asylum shoppers and alleged refugees adhere to this social rule. Why don’t some of them put their hand up and say “yes, I admit I’m not a genuine refugee, I’ll remove myself from Australia rather than wasting $XXXXX and 4 years of legal resources”.

Andrew, your fruitless search for the legal costs only tells half the story. I’ve done your work for you. The following is dated 1999 so you can imagine the figure has increased:

# failed PV applicants owe $2.8 million for post RRT fees
# running costs of the RRT were in excess of $14 million in 97/98
# Litigation on immigration-related matters alone cost more than $9 million in 1997-98
# In 1997-98, 80 per cent of the Department's compliance budget of $50 million was spent on locating, detaining and removing failed PV applicants and unauthorised arrivals from Australia

Etc, etc, etc. Who pays? Obviously we the taxpayers pay. Which budgets are snipped to find the money? Could it be the health budget, just to name one?

Andrew, tell the complete story.
Posted by Sage, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 10:31:00 AM
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I must be a poor accountant, but I can't see that the Pacific Solution has cost us much at all. Most of the expenditure has gone as foreign aid to Nauru; if they had not housed the illegals we would have had to give them the money anyway, to save them from total collapse. It can really be looked at as a case of work for your foreign aid.

The most wonderful thing about the Tampa episode, which still fills me with pride, is that on the 29th August 2001 the armed forces of the Commonwealth prevented illegal immigrants from landing in Australia.

And all this happened with the enthusiastic approval of the overwhelming majority of Australians, so much so that the opinion polls instantly reversed, and John Howard was easily re-elected.

As I forsee a world in 25 years time, where the population of the third world has doubled form its current figure of 4 billion, and countries all around the world are being inundated with illegal immigrants, the idea that Australia is tough on illegals, that we take a quota of refugees, but they are refugees that we have selected out of the camps, so they can be properly checked and security cleared, will make us an object of admiration and envy all around the western world.

I would ask other posters to be realistic. We are coming to the end of the age of cheap oil, the standard of living everywhere has to be substantially reduced, the third world will never rise out of poverty, and the fact that nothing at all will be done to reduce the increase in world population will inevitably mean that the job will be done by the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Hang on for a bumpy ride.

Give thanks that Australia is the only country with the four vital things:

1 A surplus of food.

2 A surplus of minerals.

3 A surplus of energy.

4 And last, but most important, a sea boundary.
Posted by plerdsus, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 8:24:27 PM
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Winston Churchill called on the British Armed forces to take on the mightiest military force in Europe.

About 70 years later, John Winston Howard called on the SAS to take on women and children in a leaky boat. Most of them eventually ended up getting refugee status anyway.

Pride? More like hatred - borne of phoney "children overboard" stories in an environment of suspicion.
Posted by wobbles, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 1:15:30 AM
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I would have thought that to do a proper cost benefit analysis of the expenditure on the Pacific Island solution one also has to include the fact that some 12,000 people, have been deterred from coming here the wrong way, and by passing the normal selection processes.There fore the cost person has to include these numbers.

To that must also be added those that wished to enter by this method, because they had other motives in mind, and motives that would definitely not be in our best interests, and the cost of the harm that may have happened.

I am not surprised that these basic matters were overlooked.
Posted by bigmal, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 5:52:27 PM
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