How Secure Are Australia's Defence Bases?
Written by: Ned K. on 20 November 2023
(Above: Wilson Security guard at Watsonia barracks. Picture: Angie Basdekis News.com.au)
There are many military bases in Australia. There are air force bases, army bases, navy bases, rocket and missile bases, signal bases and proof ranges and training bases. Since September 11, 2001 when Al Qaeda operatives used planes to target the twin towers in New York, security measures at defence bases and domestic and international airports have received more attention and resources from successive Australian Governments.
The growing rivalry between imperialist powers of the USA, Russia and China have added to the Government's determination to ensure that Australian military bases are secure and adequate to facilitate military operations required by the US - Australia Alliance and now AUKUS commitments. These commitments successive Australian Governments have entered in to suit the needs of the USA in particular in its military operations on a global scale.
The Australian people support Australia having Australian military bases which are secure and adequate for the defence of Australian independence and peaceful neutrality.
It is ironic that as Australian Governments talk more and more about the need to increase the country's defence and national security, they have handed over the operation of security services at all defence bases to foreign owned multinational corporations!
There was a time before the frenzy of outsourcing of government services in the 1980s and 1990s when military base security services were owned and operated by Australian government departments.
Now military security services and airports are almost entirely in the hands of Wilson Security, MSS Security, Securecorp, Secom and Certis
Wilson Security is owned by the Hog Kong Kwok family who also provide security services to the Chinese Government.
MSS Security is owned by an Indian multinational security company SIS Group Enterprises.
Securecorp is owned by multinational Guardforce Group with headquarters in Hong Kong.
Secom Group is Japanese owned.
Certis Group which is a major player in airport security in particular is Singapore owned.
These multinational corporations' primary concern is not the security of Australia, Australian defence bases and the workers and military personnel inside those bases.
Their primary concern is maximizing profits.
In 2015 for example, Wilson Security's Kwok family were caught shifting profits to the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands through a shelf company Wilson Offshore Group (BVI) Holdings.
The Security Officers employed at the defence bases work long hours for low wages with high workloads. Most are on base Award rates of pay. They also get swindled out of leave entitlements and overtime payments by the way their employers construct the rosters over lengthy roster cycles.
Sub-contracting is also a common feature of security services at the Bases.
Trawling through Facebook posts by angry Security Officers indicates that these workers have had enough.
They expect more from Governments who tell the public day in and day out how important defence is at the moment.
Their demands for higher wages and better conditions and ultimately to be directly employed as government Security Officers will be supported by the people.
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