Thursday, 5 May 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: it couldn't happen to a more deserving multinational

The Australian, 28 April 2016:

Broadspectrum has entered a trading halt this morning as it seeks to clarify the impact of a potential closure of the Manus Island detention centre.

The detention centre operator’s Manus Island contract is highly lucrative and investors fear it may be taken away after the PNG Supreme Court labelled the detention centre “unconstitutional and illegal” this week.

That ruling preceded PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s assertion on Wednesday that the centre would “now be closed”, but there remains little clarity on the way forward with the Commonwealth insisting the asylum seekers will not come to Australia.

“The trading halt is requested following press speculation in relation to developments following the PNG Supreme Court decision and their possible impact on Broadspectrum,” the firm said in a statement.

It said it intended to release an update on Friday, April 29.

The action has come as an $800 million takeover offer for Broadspectrum appeared likely to fall over before Monday’s deadline.

In May 2016 Broadspectrum (Australia) Pty Ltd formerly Transfield Services (Australia) Pty Ltd has barely ten months left to run on its $2.189 billion contract with the Australian Government to provide operational, welfare and security services to asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island, so it is highly likely that there will be relatively low compensation payable to this multinational corporation flowing from the closure of the both Nauru and Manus Island off-shore detention centres.

Perhaps this is the moment that the federal government can finally begin to rid itself of a corporation plagued by allegations of human rights violations and violence.

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