It cost up to $450,000 for authorities to search for two prison escapees, including a violent rapist, who broke out of a prison van in Geraldton last month.
Rapist Cameron John Graham, 22, and fellow inmate Kelden Edward Fraser, 23, kicked their way out of a prison van at Geraldton Airport on January 3.
They were found at a bush camp near Mullewa 72 hours later after an extensive and expensive manhunt.
Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said he believed Serco, the private contractor responsible, should contribute to the payment for the search, which he revealed on Wednesday was up to $450,000 as well as a $200,000 fine.
Mr Francis admitted it would be a precedent for Serco to make that kind of payment.
“For years, they never had anyone escape custody until the end of last year, so this is, as I said, kind of unchartered territory,” he told Fairfax radio.
Mr Francis said he also expected to receive a report this week into the incident from the Department of Corrective Services.