Nauru Offshore Detention Company Making Huge Profits

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.