As many as four dozen Nepalese nationals are currently being held at various immigration detention facilities across Australia and processing centres abroad.
“As at 6 February 2015, there are around 25 Nepalese nationals in onshore held immigration detention facilities, and around 30 in offshore processing centres,” Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said today in response to an exclusive query from southasian.com.au.
The Department of Immigration has the following onshore immigration detention facilities:
- Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre
- Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre
- Perth Immigration Detention Centre
- Villawood Immigration Detention Centre
- Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre.
In addition to the above, DIAC also runs offshore processing centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The figures include both Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMA) and Non IMAs in Australia. Traditionally, Non IMAs figures are far less than IMAs.
However, the department declined to provide the exact number of Nepalese asylum seekers under detention.
According to DIAC documents, 2846 people who arrived in Australia illegally either by boat or air are currently being held at these onshore and offshore centres. They represent 86% of the total immigration detention population under Australian immigration authorities.
The remaining 14% of the immigration population were people who arrived in Australia legally. These 468 people were taken into immigration detention and had their visa cancelled “for either over staying or breaching their visa conditions”.
On 20 October 2014, a Senate estimates hearing was told that the Commonwealth of Australia had already spent over $1 billion dollar this financial year in running the detention facilities in Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) and Nauru.
The detention centre on Manus Island cost $632.3 million while the operational cost of Nauru was $582.4 million, it was learnt at the Senate hearing.
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