Paladin says it has ethical track record on Manus Island

4:58 pm on 18 June 2019

The company providing security at refugee camps on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island says it has an outstanding track record as an ethical provider.

A suicidal refugee is taken to hospital by Paladin security staff.

A suicidal refugee is taken to hospital by Paladin security staff. Photo: Shaminda Kanapathi

Paladin's $US300 million contract with the Australian government is due to expire at the end of the month and the PNG government wants it replaced by a local company.

The Australian government said it expected Paladins' contract would be renewed even though the Auditor General is reviewing the previous tendering process.

Paladin said it was the longest serving contractor operating on Manus Island where it had worked since 2013.

It employs a majority local workforce, buys local products and undertakes community projects, it said.

These include running a volleyball tournament, a recycling initiative and a community garden in conjunction with Manus company Peren.

Peren is part owned by members of Manus Island's Pomat family, who are related to the speaker of the PNG parliament Job Pomat.

Paladin said it was unable to comment on its contract with the Australian government but it said its focus remained on the safety of residents and ensuring continuity of care.

About 500 refugees remain on Manus Island where they've been detained indefinitely without trial for six years.

Manus Island refugee Shaminda Kanipathi said the refugees were not happy with any of the companies providing them services.

"It doesn't matter whether it's a local company or a foreign company. The treatment and the situation is going to be the same as it always has been on Manus."

In February, Paladin's Manus Island employees walked off the job for two days calling for higher wages. Some were being paid as little as $AU2 an hour.

Then in April, a Paladin employee on Manus Island was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

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