That no Australian government in almost a decade has successfully brought this policy to a formal close is astonishing. In fact, Australia ceased transferring new arrivals offshore in 2014.
More than two-thirds of requests to go to the UK were approved, compared to just 46% for trips to India and 59% to China.
This excessive spending raises serious raise questions about the government's long-term planning for refugees stuck in limbo.
If only 1% of the Pacific’s population was permitted to work permanently in Australia, this would bring more benefits to the region than Australia’s annual aid contribution.