The Company Behind Nauru’s Refugee & Asylum Seeker Offshore Processing Made $101M Last Year

The company which runs offshore processing in Nauru made $101 million of profit in 2020-2021, in case you forgot we live in a capitalist hellscape.

Rard No 3 is the holding company (aka parent business) of Canstruct International, which has the contract for Nauru.

It was awarded that contract back in 2017 and at the time had just $8 in assets. They literally owned the equivalent of two loaves of Helga’s bread (not that Scott Morrison would know that).

Canstruct is a Brisbane-based company. According to The Guardian, its only significant contract is for Nauru (which is with the federal government).

In theory, it’s supposed to provide “garrison and welfare services” to the refugees and asylum seekers held on Nauru. “Garrison services” sounds very Age of Empires 2 – PC Edition.

Now, this is all going to get kind of maths-y. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As per The Guardian, Rard No 3 reported $340 million in cash and investments in its most recent corporate regulator accounts.

The Guardian also reported that Rard No 3 made a construction revenue of $333m that year, which was “commensurate [aka equivalent] with Canstruct International’s Nauru contracts for the period”.

During that period, the company also had two contract extensions worth $303 million.

In both 2020-2021 and 2019-2020, Rard No 3 made an after-tax profit of $101 million.

The company owns three investment properties which are worth $14 million, has $236 million in financial investments and made $6 million from investments and interest.

The crucial point there is the profit of $101 million. That’s because, as figured out by the good people at The Guardian, that translates into $500,000 for each refugee and asylum seeker.

According to the Refugee Council of Australia, there are currently 114 people being held on Nauru.

The last four children were removed from Nauru in 2019 and resettled in the US. No asylum seekers have been taken to Nauru since 2014, meaning those still on the island have been there for eight years.

Back in November 2021, The Guardian revealed that it costs $4.3 million of taxpayer money a year to keep just one refugee or asylum seeker on Nauru.

84 of the people on Nauru have been classified formally as refugees according to the Department of Home Affairs: Australia has a legal requirement to protect them.

In 2016 (before Canstruct International had the contract), Amnesty International found that the treatment of refugees and asylums in Nauru was neglectful and abusive.

“Australia’s policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat is cruel in the extreme,” said Dr Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s senior director for research (as per Human Rights Watch).

“Few other countries go to such lengths to deliberately inflict suffering on people seeking safety and freedom.”

Back in October of 2021, Australia signed a deal with Nauru to establish an “enduring” offshore processing system there.