In April this year 3,436 people arrived on illegal boats, most of whom identified as asylum seekers.
The trend of late has been an increasing flow of inbound boat arrivals - but for the sake of this discussion let's assume 3,436 per month remains constant for the next 12 months.
That's 42,232 people arriving by boat in the next year.
There are a few reasonably reliable indicative calculations of the costs of processing each asylum seeker in the first year after arrival.
Labor budgeted $1.1bn in the 2012/13 budget for processing asylum seekers on the assumption we would get 450 arrivals per month. That works out at a cost of $203,704 per person in Labor's cost estimates.
The Australian Council of Social Services calculated the cost of processing each asylum seeker in detention on Christmas Island as $180,000 for the first year.
Let's go with the lower figure of $180,000 by 42,232 people - that's $7.42 billion
That buys a lot of Gonski, NDIS or increased Medicare levy.
I know these calculations are imperfect and indicative - but surely the scale of the problem and the costs are pretty clear to anyone with a calculator who reads this blog. How are we simply letting day after day roll on as this huge and uncontrolled cost accumulates?
Thanks to reader JD for some of the pointers to those figures.