Australia's offshore immigration detention program has cost the federal government at least $5 billion since 2012, new figures have confirmed.
Ahead of Wednesday's four-year anniversary of Kevin Rudd's move to reinstate hardline rules to send any asylum seeker arriving in Australia by boat to offshore detention, Senate committee figures show the total operational and infrastructure costs for Australia's detention facilities on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island has reached $4.89 billion.
The latest overall price tag for offshore detention includes departmental costs and capital works on Manus and Nauru, peaking in 2015-16.
Figures provided to Senate estimates hearings show more than $230,000 has been paid out to public servants and detainees for personal injury and wrongful detention claims in Australia and the offshore centres, including $69,108.96 in payouts to Immigration Department staff and sub-contractors in 2016-17.
Insurer Comcare and Department of Finance compensation claims averaged $6443 for injuries in Australia and $12,003 for injuries in Papua New Guinea.
Last year a report by Save the Children and Unicef found taxpayers had spent as much as $9.6 billion on offshore immigration enforcement since 2013, while a Parliamentary Library report released in 2016 found Manus Island had cost taxpayers about $2 billion since it was reopened – more than $1 million for each of the 2000 people who have been imprisoned there.
The Gillard government's moves to reopen the Manus Island detention centre in late 2012 saw Australia spend $358.77 million on operating and capital costs for the two centres.
Those costs dramatically increased to $1.1 billion in 2013-14, following Mr Rudd's pre-election announcement and the Abbott government's election on the back of promises to turn back asylum seeker boats and significantly ramp up border protection.
In 2014-15, the two offshore centres cost taxpayers $1.31 billion, increasing to $1.38 billion in 2015-16.
Last financial year the cost fell to $980 million as the number of detainees reduced.
In June, the government agreed to pay $70 million in compensation to about 1900 asylum seekers currently or formerly held on Manus Island, considered one of Australia's largest ever human rights court settlements.
About 1200 people remain in the two offshore processing centres, the most recent figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection show.
The department told Senate estimates the nationalities of those being held in detention or in the community on Manus included nationals from Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan.
There were 233 people found not to be refugees at the end of May, of which 193 were living within the processing centre including six who were receiving medical treatment in Port Moresby.
A further 32 had returned to their country of origin voluntarily, while six had been returned against their will.
Detainees on Nauru included nationals from the same countries, as well as Nepal, India, Syria, Indonesia, Somalia, Sudan and at least two people found to be stateless.
As of May 23, no transferee has been determined not to be a refugee in Nauru, the department said, noting 175 were "determined to have indicative negative outcomes".
"All transferees still have avenues within the refugee status determination process; as such none are classified as failed asylum seekers."
The department said at the end of April, the average time spent in onshore detention in Australia for people found to be stateless was 836 days.
The longest period in onshore detention was 1345 days, more than three and a half years.
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