Having lost the vote which makes it easier for sick asylum seekers — and potentially those simply claiming to be ill — to come to Australia for treatment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasted no time putting ‘plan B’ into action.
Below you can read the highlights of the PM’s ramped up security plan, intended to deter people smugglers who may be encouraged by the new, more relaxed border policies.
Plan B highlights
These highlights are sourced from the Prime Minister’s Office on behalf of our friends at the Australian Associated Press.
Provided laws around asylum seekers in offshore detention do change, ‘contingency plans’ are being worked on by the police, the military and the Australian Border Force.
On Wednesday, the advice from this discussion was relayed to the Cabinet’s National Security Committee.
From this meeting, it was announced that a ‘range of strengthenings’ can boost Operation Sovereign Borders, but some of the details won’t be revealed to the public.
What has been revealed is that the detention facility on Christmas Island will reopen. This is to prepare for ‘the prospect of arrivals as well as dealing with the prospect of (medivac) transfers’.
Further changes may be administered through an ‘implementation report’ which the Department of Home Affairs is planning to produce.
The cost of plan B
Cost estimates have been calculated for the main areas of this initiative.
Transferring detainees to Australia is expected to be a $21.5 million feat.
Home Affairs staffing and admin in relation to these transfers is looking to be around $24.5 million.
Back on Christmas Island, the service provided will take us $1.224 billion out of pocket. And the Island staff and administration cost will sit at around $167 million.
These figures don’t take into account the possibility of new arrivals, which will ramp up expenses in all areas.
But should we really put a price on adequate border protection?
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