Earlier this year, the government reopened Christmas Island to imprison the family from Biloela. We now know what it cost us.
As we all shuffled off to bed last night, the estimates carried on. However, as the evening rolled over Canberra, some rather galling figures came to light.
In reference to the Tamil family from Biloela, we have a dollar value on suffering. Earlier this year, (despite the UN’s complaint), the government reopened the Christmas Island detention centre to house the family while the matter of their deportation is settled.
According to refugee advocate Shane Bazzi, that stunt cost the taxpayer $26.8 million. The estimates also discovered that 96 Serco security staff and two border force representatives are employed to guard four people. It was also revealed that nine medical staff are currently on the island.
Greens Senator Nick McKim asked Michael Pezzullo (the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) how long the 100-plus staff were set to remain on the island. Pezzullo failed to give a timeframe or specific date.
This government has spent $30 million to detain just four people – the Biloela family, who built a life here in Australia. pic.twitter.com/o8Lk8WN6wL
— Nick McKim (@NickMcKim) October 21, 2019
The figures are galling, especially if one considers the vociferous complaint we’ve offered throughout their treatment, and threatened deportation. Our taxes have been squandered on little more than organised sadism, or indeed, the lengths Canberra is willing to go to make an example of a family who has made a life here.