Tuesday, 07 October 2014 - 8:12
Anti-boat people adds cost Australia 20 million Australian dollars in one year
Advertising campaigns in the past year to stop refugees seeking protection in Australia have cost taxpayers nearly 23 million Australian dollars.
The sum, released by the Australian Audit Office in response to questions asked in Senate estimates, covers spending by the Immigration and Customs departments between July 2013 and August 2014.
The money was spent under both the current Coalition government, which came to power last September, and the previous Labor government.
The advertising campaigns appeared on television, radio, online and in leaflet drops in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka and Sudan.
The campaigns had names such as “No way. You will not make Australia home” and “Don't throw your money into water”, which urged would-be asylum seekers not to pay people smugglers for dangerous sea journeys.