09 March 2012

Protests against privatised Australian immigration

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Protests have taken place at several sites associated with the Australian immigration system in an effort to persuade the Australian government to end its relationship with private security firm Serco.

Australian immigration

Serco, the company responsible for many of Australia's detention centres recorded £250 million profit last year.

Protests against the Australian immigration policy were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth as well as outside as outside Immigration Minister Chris Bowen's office and the Villawood Detention Centre.

The demonstrations were held to protest the privatisation of several government departments, most notably immigration; the Australian government currently has a multibillion dollar contract with British security firm Serco to run its detention centres.

The protests were organised by the Occupy movement which have protested several aspects of capitalism, most notably the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US.

Organiser Alex Bainbridge said the protests were directed towards Serco because it was "symbolic and symptomatic of the whole culture of privatisation".

"In places like Britain were Serco has a much larger presence in public hospitals there is a long record of patient care being affected and the consistent attitude of cutting the bottom line at the cost of public services."

Serco recorded over £250 million profit in 2011 and as private companies are not required to remain as transparent as government entities, Mr Bainbridge believes this leads to less accountability and preference on pleasing shareholders rather than caring for the public.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge their Australia visa applications with the Australian Embassy London.

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