Letter to the Editor - Saturday, June 7: Compassion, please
WHAT are the facts on the costs of different ways of treating asylum seekers?
Tony Abbott's own Commission of Audit has recognised that it costs more than $400,000 per year to lock someone up on Manus Island or Nauru. It found that onshore detention costs almost $250,000 per year, community detention costs less than $100,000 per person per year, and the bridging visa option costs around $30,000. If we allow them to work, and thus contribute taxes and everything else a person contributes to society (such as knowledge, skills, talents, culture and wisdom), then everyone wins.
More than 95% of asylum seekers who try to come to Australia by boat are found to be genuine refugees. So let's welcome them with compassion, as we would want, if we were in their desperate life-and-death situation.
SIMON ASHWORTH WOOD