SCU security linked to detention centres

SOUTHERN Cross University said it would take into consideration, as part of its current tendering process, the fact its security contractors, Wilson Security, was subcontracted by detention centre operator Broadspectrum (formerly known as Transfield).

East Lismore mum and TAFE teacher Melinda Marshall heeded calls from The No Business In Abuse campaign, promoted by GetUp, to investigate and lobby institutions using companies that she said were "complicit in human rights abuse".

Ms Marshall, a week away from giving birth to her second child, said her self-initiated investigation into SCU's security contract was timely.

SCU currently has its security contract out for tender.

Submissions close at the end of March and SCU is expected to make a decision about whether to continue employing Wilson Security by mid-May.

"Southern Cross University is aware of the matters raised in the (Mr Marshall's) letter. It will be taken into consideration as part of the tendering process for security services, which is currently under way," a spokesperson said.

Ms Marshall is calling on the community to join her in writing to the university's Vice Chancellor Peter Lee and call on him to "refuse to allow SCU to continue to do business with abusers".

"SCU would be in good company, as state premiers, hospitals, churches, and concerned people all over Australia are currently trying to prevent the needless return of 267 vulnerable people including dozens of children to the harsh conditions on Nauru via the Let Them Stay campaign," she said.

"It would take courage and leadership for SCU to decline to re-hire Wilson Security as long as the company continues its involvement with offshore detention. But it would be the right thing to do."

In July last year, Transfield Services was awarded an $88 million, five-year contract for Newcastle University and was greeted with protests from students, staff and community groups.

Wilson Security were unavailable for comment but its corporate social responsibility statement said the group had 'a strong commitment to the wellbeing of communities in Manus and Nauru', creating programs and initiatives that support the wider community.

"If you want to learn more about Wilson Security's complicity in cruelty on Nauru and Manus Island, there is a report at at nobusinessinabuse.org," Ms Marshall said.



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