View Full Version : $160,000 bill for his "accommodation" in Baxter Detention Centre

Magda Hassan
06-24-2009, 04:07 AM
I just wanted to inform people here that we have a charming practice in Australia of charging people for their enforced detention in our detention centers. I believe that we are the only nation to do this to their refugees. So far anyway. It wasn't always the case. Don't you just love it? They call him a 'customer' and he has his own number and all. There is a campaign here to get this piece of insanity repealed and their email to me below briefly describes how it effects those saddled with this burden. Mandatory detention has been repealed by the new government (it was a former Labor government that introduced it but it was most draconian under the Liberals) but those who arrive by boat or who are deemed to pose a threat to the community in some way or another. But this guy was in detention when everyone was sent to detention centres. And they were pretty grusome by all accounts. Many suicides and mental health issues, breakdowns and severe depression, self harm etc. And then to be charged for the privilege for being forced to spend your time in this dysfunctional destructive environment?

http://www.getup.org.au/files/campaigns/voteyesmasmasthead.jpg (http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/vote_yes?dc=799,343359,3)
Dear Magda,
After 16 months in immigration detention, Kasian was granted a temporary visa. Then he was hit with a $160,000 bill for his "accommodation" in Baxter Detention Centre. There are hundreds more like him - experiencing unimaginable trauma only to then be slugged with an enormous bill for the privilege.
The good news is the Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to overturn this policy, but the vote is going to be very close.
We don't think anyone in good conscience could vote against this bill having heard first hand the impact this policy has on people's lives. That's why we want to send a delegation of refugees to Canberra to tell their stories. Can you chip in to get them there?
Yes, I'd like to send a delegation to Canberra (https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/EndMandatoryDetention&id=675?dc=799,343359,3)
No, I can't chip in at the moment (http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/EndMandatoryDetention&id=670?dc=799,343359,3)
This policy means those hit with 'detention debt' cannot get on with their lives: as long as the debt is unpaid, the Government may not grant permanent residency and their lives are left in limbo, causing untold mental anguish.
No other country has a similar policy of billing refugees for their time in detention. And considering only 3.3% of debts are finally collected, the cost of the policy often outweighs the amount received. It just doesn't make sense - financially or morally.
Some Liberal and National Party Senators are considering abandoning their party's position against this bill. Unless we can change key minds in Canberra, this inhumane policy may continue to shatter families' lives. That's where you come in.
Help get people affected by this immoral policy in front of the people who have the power to change it:
Yes, I'd like to send a delegation to Canberra: https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/Vote_Yes (https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/EndMandatoryDetention&id=675?dc=799,343359,3)
No, I can't chip in at the moment: http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/NoThanks (http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/EndMandatoryDetention&id=670?dc=799,343359,3)
Can you picture it? Real people affected by this unfair policy will have a chance to tell their stories to the politicians who will decide their fates.
This is our opportunity to remove one of the key pieces of inhumane policy from the Howard era - giving refugees a fair chance to get on with their lives and begin participating in Australian society.
Thanks for being a part of the solution,
The GetUp team
PS - If you or someone you know has been affected by detention debt, please let us know as soon as possible. Email national@getup.org.au (national@getup.org.au?subject=Refugee%20story).
PPS - No-one detained in Australia incurs a financial cost for the privilege, except refugees. Tell your Senators to vote yes in the Senate this week by sending a delegation of refugees straight to their offices: https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/Vote_Yes (https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/EndMandatoryDetention&id=675?dc=799,343359,3)


David Guyatt
06-24-2009, 10:31 AM
Some years ago I ruminated that this would eventually become a widespread practice simply because the logic of greed and social control - plus a bloody good belly-laugh by those in power - dictates that those afflicted by the state must pay for their punishment.

After all, we all pay taxes that pay the wages and infrastructure of the bureaucracy that employs traffic wardens to impose fines (further tax raising measures) on us, and police to impose speeding fines (but not solve crimes, oh no), and to underwrite government handouts (more of our tax) to the arms industry to underwrite arms exports to nations that are known in advance to be unable and even unwilling to fulfill their part of the contract by paying for said arms, material and services (in the UK its called the ECGD - "Export Credits Guarantee Department").

And much more besides.