Broadspectrum

After years of student and staff dissent about the presence of Broadspectrum on campus, University of Newcastle quietly announced it would be ending the contract at the end of this year, two years earlier than agreed.

The university had contracted Broadspectrum, formerly known as Transfield, to manage the facilities, waste and security on the Callaghan, Ourimbah, Port Macquarie and Sydney campuses.

Newcastle Uni cuts ties with Broadspectrum

The University of Newcastle will cut its controversial $88 million contract with Broadspectrum, the company responsible for running Australia’s detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

A university spokesperson confirmed it had “reached agreement” with Broadspectrum to “progressively transition out of the current maintenance and facilities services contract before the end of the year”.

Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial, which recently succeeded in a takeover bid for Broadspectrum, formerly known as Transfield, the company that runs the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, has implied that it will not seek a further contract to run the centres.

In a statement Ferrovial noted that providing services at regional processing centres was not a "core part of the acquisition rationale and valuation and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial's portfolio. Ferrovial's view is that this will not form part of its services offering in the future."

The Immigration Department is reviewing Wilson Security's lucrative role at the Manus Island and Nauru offshore detention camps following allegations it was secretly controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Thomas Kwok, who is serving five years in jail for bribery, and his brother.

Wilson Security has denied allegations that the brothers concealed their ownership and control of Wilson after the claims emerged as part of the Panama Papers, the leak of millions documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama.

Asylum seekers on Nauru have been protesting their long-term detention every day since March 20. Good Friday marked 1000 days in detention with no refugee determination for some asylum seekers.

Profits have soared for the operator of Australia's detention camps for asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea on Manus Island and on Nauru.

Broadspectrum, which used to be called Transfield Services, announced it had trebled its net profit for the first half of the year to $25.1 million.

Broadspectrum has been awarded a 12-month extension on its contract providing operational, welfare and security services to asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. It has told investors it is the "preferred tenderer" for a new five-year contract it hopes to sign this year.

Sam Wainwright, Socialist Alliance councillor on Fremantle Council, successfully moved the following motion at council’s February 24 meeting:

1. Supports the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees — March 20, 1pm St George's Cathedral;

2. Calls on the Malcolm Turnbull government to let the 267 refugees that it wants to deport stay;

3. Commits Fremantle to stop doing business with companies who are contracted to run the detention centres, such as Broadspectrum and Wilson Security; and

4. Calls for an end to the offshore mandatory detention regime and boat "turnbacks".

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