Since Australia is considering hard line approach to border protection, the country’s government is likely to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the name of border protection funding in the next week’s budget. The government has already boosted the budget on the issue in the current financials year, as more than expected number of refuge seekers arrived over the last 12 months.
The country’s immigration minister declared that the costs involved in the refuge seekers management have topped with $233 million in 2009-10. The costs included the restoration of once closed detention facilities at the Curtin air base in Western Australia and detention center in the Christmas Island.
According to budget estimates released in March, the funding for border security operations in 2009-10 was $344.6 million. The funding for border protection and immigration is expected to be more as compared to the aforementioned, as Australia’s federal election is coming closer. Additional funding for security and intelligence operations, along with trafficking prevention operations are expected in the new budget.
Reportedly, the 2009-10 budget was prepared believing only 200 asylum seekers would arrive the country. But, the number of arrivals has already exceeded 4210 and thus it is expected that the next budget would permit additional bill of over $200 million for refuge seeker management. Many people are also opined that the government should spend more in order to tackle the people-smuggling issue as well.