Saturday, September 25, 2010

Serco and the running of immigration detention centres

As the crises in Australia's detention centres worsens, closer attention is starting to be paid to Serco, the global mega-corporation that runs the immigration detention centres on behalf of the Australian Government.  Serco has a contract worth $400 million with the Federal Government to run immigration detention centres on the Australian mainland and Christmas Island,although the value of the contract will increase with the massive expansion of detention facilities, such as Curtin in WA.

Serco is a huge multinational corporation that has benefited immensely from the privatization of public functions previously run by Governments. It has stepped into the void to run services that governments don't want to run. The great benefit for Governments is that they are distanced from criticism when things go wrong.

In Australia Serco is also a major player in the running of prisons for State Governments, including Acacia prison in WA, and also provides defense related logistical services, including running navy patrol services.

Journalist, author, blogger and activist Antony Loewenstein has been one of the few Australian journalists to focus on Serco's' role in the unfolding crises in immigration detention centres. He has written regular pieces on the shady and tawdry practices of Serco.

The Sydney Morning Herald has written this story about Serco, however it only scratches the surface on the role played by Serco. Antony Lowenstein will continue to be the major source of investigative reporting and writing about Serco, but let's hope that mainstream journalists start shining the light on Serco

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