"This week marks nine years since Australia re-introduced a policy of offshore
processing for asylum seekers arriving by boat. Nine long years of a cruel,
costly and ineffective policy sustained by successive governments of both major
parties, despite consistently failing to meet any of its stated aims.
As we outline in a new Kaldor Centre policy brief, Cruel, costly and
ineffective: the failure of offshore processing in Australia
processing does not “save lives”, “stop the boats” or “break the business model
of people smugglers”. Nor is it a benign failure.
Beyond simply not doing what it sets out to do, offshore processing carries
enormous costs. There are human costs, for the men, women and children subject
to immense suffering, and even to some of the people tasked with implementing
It also carries diplomatic costs, as Australia’s international reputation is
tarnished. Its relationship with Pacific neighbours in Nauru and Papua New
Guinea grows increasingly strained with each passing year. Then there’s the
ballooning economic costs for taxpayers, as billions are sunk in vain into a
disastrous policy failure."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics