Many people don’t realise that section 262 of the Migration Act creates a “liability to the Commonwealth for the cost of keeping, maintaining and removing certain persons“. What this basically means, is that if you are unfortunate enough to be taken into immigration detention you are going to have to pay for it. It also means that “appropriate arrangements” have to made in respect of outstanding debts, if any future visa applications are to be successful.

From 30 June 2018, the daily maintenance amount is $489.11 per person, for “accomodation” in onshore detention facilities (see Legislative Instrument 18/022: “Determination of Daily Maintenance Amounts for Persons in Detention Instrument 2018”).   That amount is intended to cover:

  • the cost of keeping and maintaining the person in immigration detention
  • the cost of transporting and securing the person between the vessel and to the place of detention, and the cost of transporting the person between detention facilities.
  • if the person is to be removed from Australia at the cost of the Commonwealth, the cost of that removal and the cost of transporting the person who is securing the person being removed. 

According to the website of the 5 star Westin Hotel in Martin Place, the mid-week rate (at the time of writing this post) for a superior room with breakfast was $385/night. That rate of course doesn’t include airport transfers and a one way flight.

Creative commons acknowledgement for the photograph.

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