Geelong Advertiser - - YPOUR SAY - Geral­dine Gart­land, Warn­coort

WHAT would you do with $500,000 a year?

In Jan­uary 2017 the Com­mon­wealth Au­di­tor found the Aus­tralian Govern­ment was spend­ing around $500,000 of tax­pay­ers money per refugee each year, in the off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tres of Manus and Nauru as against around $12,000 a year for each asy­lum seeker who is pro­cessed on­shore.

With about 600 peo­ple on Manus Is­land and around 300 on Nauru for the last 4½ years, that is a lot of tax­payer dol­lars.

Add sui­cides and fre­quent at­tempted sui­cides, a mur­der and two deaths from al­leged med­i­cal ne­glect ( on Manus), de­te­ri­o­rat­ing men­tal health states, and a re­cent Hu­man Rights Watch re­port of in­creas­ing rates of vi­o­lent at­tacks on refugees and asy­lum seek­ers by groups of armed lo­cals on Manus.

Many Manus Is­lan­ders re­sent Aus­tralia’s heavy-handed man­age­ment of the off­shore pro­cess­ing.

There is also a lack of any work­able plans for any fu­ture re­set­tle­ment in a safe and wel­com­ing place.

Are we all pay­ing far too high a price for this govern­ment’s off­shore pro­cess­ing of asy­lum seek­ers, poli­cies?

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