The $185m Christmas Island Photoshoot

In March 2019, after the “Medevac” bill passed Parliament (against the wishes of the government) the government rushed to re-open the Christmas Island detention centre (which was closed in 2018). This was clearly a wedge against Labor (soft on people smugglers etc.).

The PM visited the island along with a significant media contingent. Most of the short trip was taken up with a visit to the high-security North West Point Detention Centre – with lots of opportunities to take photos.

The facility was quickly, and quietly, closed again, via the budget, at a cost of $185m.

There were no people transferred there.

Locals saw it as a publicity stunt – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-09/christmas-islanders-call-scott-morrison-visit-a-publicity-stunt/10886144

Why is it re-opening? – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-15/why-reopen-christmas-island-disability-royal-commission/10814640

Cost of $185m – https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/02/australia-federal-budget-2019-refugees-jobactive-josh-frydenberg-christmas-island

PM’s defends money spent on it – https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/07/scott-morrison-defends-spending-185m-reopening-christmas-island-centre

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