The shambles that is Australia’s immigration policy. Little transparency, people’s lives are simply something to be managed. By whom? Once again multinational Serco, with a record of abuses across the world, is running the show:
A charity that recruits volunteers to run recreational activities at detention centres is on the brink of deregistration for failing to provide a single financial statement to Fair Trading NSW since it was formally created in 2003.
Fair Trading wrote to the founder of the Australian League of Immigration Volunteers, Gary Taylor, on December 15, demanding he lodge the documents within 28 days. But it has received no response.
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The Herald understands Fair Trading wrote again last week asking Mr Taylor to show cause why the organisation should not be deregistered.
A priest who worked with the league’s volunteers at one centre is concerned about the group’s restrictive regulations, which he says are unlike any he has encountered in 30 years of charity work.
Former volunteers have speculated that it is being run on the principles of Scientology, while Pamela Curr, the campaign co-ordinator of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, fears for the well-being of the vulnerable detainees.
Ms Curr said she could not understand why volunteer labour was being used to provide services that Serco, the company that runs Australia’s detention centres, is required to provide under its $400 million contract with the Department of Immigration.
The 729-page contract confirms Serco is responsible for language, cultural and recreational programs. Serco says it does provide such services and that the league simply supplements them.
But league volunteers said they were the only people providing such activities for much of the time they were at the centres.