Wednesday July 1, 2009 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"The Rudd government's blatant backflip on its 2007 ALP party platform - at the time confirmed at its National Policy Convention under Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith MP - to return immigration detention contracting to the Australian public service is complete today when UK services company Serco's Australian subsidiary Serco Australia starts operations in seven detention centres, and it is a sad day for the guarantee of duty of care and putting asylum seekers first," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said today.
"Mainly missed by the Australian media (see Dowjones report below), the contract sees a continuation of privatisation of all immigration detention contract services, and more importantly, not an improvement from Global Solutions Ltd (GSL), recently re-badged as G4S: Just two months ago the UK Children's Services Commissioner Sir Al Aynsley-Green released a damning report on detention of immigration children in Yarl's Wood Immigration detention centre, operated by Serco," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
See the report at http://www.safecom.org.au/serco-australia.htm
"In the context of the presence of an extraordinary number of children as well as 'unaccompanied minors' amongst the recent arrivals on Christmas Island - recent overall numbers suggest that more than 70% of children arrived unaccompanied by primary relatives - it is a disgrace that Serco has been confirmed as the contractor for Australia, a company under whose contract children have died in custody in the UK."
"Moreover, the recent cruel death of Indigenous Elder Mr Ward while in transit from Warburton to Kalgoorlie under the 'care' of GSL in the Western Desert, where he really 'cooked to death' could have been a serious warning for the Immigration Minister Chris Evans, but nobody in the Rudd Government has flinched about Mr Ward's death."
This first day of the new financial year may be a great day for the financial stocks of Serco, but it a dark day for detention centre care in Australia, and may just prove to be an omenous day in Australia's story of how we treat refugees and asylum seekers, where nobody blinks when we put profit above people," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]
Serco Group Signs A$370 Million Pact With Australian Government
Source: Dowjones Business News
Monday June 29th, 2009 / 8h30
LONDON - (Dow Jones) - Serco Group PLC (SRP.LN) said Monday it has signed a new contract valued at around A$370 million, or GBP180 million, with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship to transform its immigration detention centres across the country.
- Five year contract may be extended for further four years.
- Transition from existing service provider will commence in July, and is expected to be completed by November.
- Serco will manage and operate seven adult immigration detention centres and provide national and international transport and escort services from Australia.
- Serco to provide greater focus on well-being of people and seek to improve operation of centres, including improvements to the standard of living skills and English language education programmes.
- By London Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9296; firstname.lastname@example.org