Everyone loves the busting of a myth – I’m particularly keen to see these following misconceptions corrected!
MYTH 1: We no longer have children in detention.
- The Federal Government has broken one of its key 2007 election promises as there are still children in detention.
- As of the 22nd July 2010, there are 651 children in immigration detention (1).
MYTH 2: We no longer have many asylum seekers in detention centres, now that there is a Federal ALP Government.
- Australia has as many people in detention now as we did under the Howard Government.
- As of the 25th of June 2010, Australia had 4,116 people in detention (2).
MYTH 3: It makes good financial sense to keep Christmas Island open to process asylum seekers.
- The Gillard Government has committed to spending $973.6 million dollars on Christmas Island for the next 5 years.
- That same amount of money would fund the entire budget of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for the next 540 years.
MYTH 4: The Gillard Government invests an equal amount of money in caring for asylum seekers in the community as it does to keep asylum seekers in detention.
- For every $1 the Gillard Government gives the Red Cross to care for community based asylum seekers, it will spend$30.41 dollars to keep asylum seekers in detention centres over the next 4 years.
- That’s $1.441 billion dollars on detention compared to $47.4 million dollars to the Red Cross Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme
MYTH 5: Australia is being flooded by asylum seekers coming by boat and has lost control of its borders.
- In the last 34 years (from 1st January 1976 to 19th May 2010) we have had a total of 23,540 people come by boat toAustralia seeking asylum. That’s an overall average of 692 asylum seekers a year (3).
- At this rate it would take 145 years to fill the MCG once with asylum seekers coming by boat.
1 Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Immigration figures
3 Parliamentary Library, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/bn/sp/BoatArrivals.htm