sydney: new perils of privatisation


From today's Sydney Morning Herald:

The company that runs Australia's immigration detention centres has made the short list to operate Sydney's ferries.  Harbour City Ferries and Transit Systems are the other two bidders on the list. Security company Serco has a contract with the federal government to run Australia's detention centres, which are the subject of a parliamentary inquiry after recent protests and unrest among detainees.

Insert your own quip here.

7 Responses to sydney: new perils of privatisation

  1. Zoltán October 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    That company, I must say, as half of the Northern Rail franchise in the part of England I live in, and has done a far better job than its predecessors.
    This is in spite of its taking many of the most evil government contracts, just as clearly they do in Australia. Such, though, is the nature of public service contractors; they have little overall specialism or aim other than doing an efficient job of managing anything and everything.

  2. Danny October 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Of course my first thought was that they would imprison and abuse their customers. It is the only logical inference, right?

  3. Aidan Stanger October 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    ‘Tis hardly a new thing – Serco had the contract to run many of Adelaide’s buses in the ’90s, long before they were known as a security company.

  4. Nicholas Barnard October 11, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    @Danny, this is not an airplane, if the passengers want to they can jump overboard without too much difficulty.

  5. Gavin Seipelt October 11, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Serco also run the DLR in London, and that is a pretty good system.

  6. Peter October 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Serco also operates Transperth’s call centre.
    Given the demographics of Sydney’s harbourside suburbs, I’m guessing that the rate of captive passengers would be low.
    This post reminds me of that other diversified company – Veolia. Their role in both waste management and passenger transport may provoke similar quips.

  7. Jonathan Hallam October 17, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    There’s one argument to be made that these companies are good at the kind of organisational work that crops up often in government-outsourced contracts (let’s call it systems/network management, maybe).
    The other is that the thing these companies are good at is getting government contracts – irrespective of whether they’re actually good at doing the actual work or not.