The Australian Government will be spending approximately $3.5 billion on the locking up of refugees every year by 2015/16, according to the budget forward estimates.
The budget says the cost of locking up refugees without a trial in Australia’s foreign-run prison camps will cost over a billion dollars in 2012/13.
There are about 3,830 refugees in the Australian-funded camps as of May 3.
At the same time the Government announced it will increase intake of migrants from 185,000 to 190,000 per year, with over 60,000 of them unskilled.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the Government was now “in a very different situation” and blamed Opposition leader Tony Abbott for the increased costs, according to The Australian.
The Government announced in the budget it will spend 0.04% of its refugee detention spending on prevention ($33.3million) for two new vessels to patrol the northwest and $11.3 million help regional governments disrupt people-smuggling in the region.
Serco Group (SRP:LN), the British arms and private prison multinational who runs the Australian camps was up 0.45% to 553.0000 British pence overnight.
In 2016, the projected cost to lock up refugees could buy more than 35 Joint Strike Fighters jet fighters at current cost estimates.