Mandatory detention is one of the most damaging aspects of Australian government policy. Major contractors in the supply network that supports mandatory detention include Serco, IHMS, Save the Children and Transfield Services. Contracts with the Salvation Army ($74 million – Nauru) and G4S ($80.5 million – Manus Island) come to an end this month.
Transfield Services Limited, an ASX-listed company, notified the ASX on 29 January that, “subject to completion of contract negotiations, the Company will be responsible for Garrison Support Services and Welfare at both Manus Island and Nauru.”
That’s right, Transfield is taking over the job detaining people on both Manus Island and Nauru. We’ll update with new details as soon as those contract negotiations are complete, but keep in mind that its one year contract for detention services on Nauru to February 2014 blew out from $175 million to over$300 million.
But the value chain of offshore detention doesn’t stop there.
For example, one of Transfield’s substantial shareholders (at >18%, as of 30 January 2014) is Allan Gray Australia Pty Ltd, which – as per an ASX notice of 17 January 2014 – manages investments for a group of funds including:
- the Construction and Building Industry Superannuation Fund (CBUS) of more than 700,000 members and “with strong links to its sponsoring organisations, both unions such as the CFMEU, AMWU, AWU, CEPU, ACTU and ETU and employers such as the MBA and NECA”;
- HESTA, a health and community services industry fund of more than 760,000 members;
- Hostplus, the industry superannuation fund for the hospitality, tourism, recreation and sport industries, with “close to one million members;
- The Catholic Superannuation Fund, with about 70,000 members;
- The Qantas Superannuation Plan, with around 33,000 member accounts;
- Non-Government Schools Superannuation Fund, a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment; and
- REST, Australia’s largest industry super fund by membership, with over 1.9 million members, whose “corporate responsibility” activities have a focus on mental health.
The profits of mandatory detention stretch out further than you might think, perhaps even into your own superannuation.
An addendum from the comment made here:
Someone called Gloria Kelly posted this on AsRc Facebook, thought it might be useful here: “The chairman of Transfield Services is Tony Shepherd http://www.transfieldservices.com/page/AR2013/Board_of_Directorswho is the former CEO of the Business Council of Australia and who Tony Abbott recently appointed to his Commission of Audit. According to Doug Cameron in his blog titled Abbott Outsources Policy to Big Business http://www.dougcameron.com.au/abbott_outsources_policy_to_big_business
“The appointment of former Business Council of Australia CEO and Transfield Chairman Tony Shepherd set alarm bells ringing from the start. Shepherd presided over the transformation of the BCA from a partisan but nevertheless serious player in policy development into a still partisan, but rent-seeking outfit whose policy positions have led it to be a bit of a laughing stock. The performance of Transfield under his stewardship has been nothing short of abysmal.”
Furthermore, he states: “At Transfield, from where he resigned as Chairman to take up his Commission of Audit appointment, Shepherd presided over a collapse in the company’s market capitalisation to barely a tenth of what it was before the GFC. Shepherd and his fellow board members brought this about through ill-judged acquisitions resulting in after tax losses, impairments and write downs of over half a billion dollars; bringing with them job cuts aimed at cutting costs. Transfield is a shadow of its former self and a time when the people who actually owned the business ran it.”