Serco making a killing from indefinite detention

Who says that Australia’s immigration detention chaos isn’t a perfect opportunity for a privatised firm to make a fortune? The Daily Telegraph reports yesterday:

An asylum seeker boom will generate an astonishing $1 billion-plus taxpayer-funded bonanza for the controversial foreign conglomerate that runs Australia’s detention centres.

Serco originally signed a five-year contract worth $370 million to run the centres until mid-2014.

But immigration industry experts said this figure was now likely to blow out many times during the course of the contract – and burst through the billion-dollar barrier.

Figures obtained from government tender records show the total size of Serco’s contracts in relation to asylum seekers was quietly doubled in November to more than $756 million.

Of this revised figure, $712 million is allocated to run the detention centres through to mid-2014 and a further $44.5 million for “residential housing and transport” for detainees in Sydney, Perth and Port Augusta.

But immigration industry sources are saying the latest contract amount for Serco is already six months out of date and it stands to make hundreds of millions more from taxpayers, with continued boat arrivals.

One source said the asylum seeker boom since November had already added $100-$200 million to the total value of Serco’s detention centre contracts since then. This would value them at up to $950 million as of this month.

But the industry experts said Serco’s detention centre bonanza is set to burst through the $1 billion barrier if the Government’s new “Malaysia Solution” does not work and refugee boats keep coming.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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