No more delay. Action now.
The Australian Security Industry Association (ASIAL) has called on all state and territory governments and the Federal Government to adopt a nationally consistent approach to the regulation of the security industry in the wake of the Victorian Hotel Quarantine program.
ASIAL has written to all Premiers and Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs urging them to at last agree on introducing nationally consistent regulation of the security industry to address inherent vulnerabilities highlighted by the Victorian Hotel Quarantine program.
ASIAL Chief Executive Officer Bryan de Caires said that for over 20 years, the Association has sought to convince Australian governments to agree to a nationally consistent set of robust regulatory standards for the security industry to ensure that all states and territories are on an even playing field. Yet despite COAG agreement in 2008 to work towards this goal, we are still no closer.
“We do not regulate the industry – that’s up to governments,” he said. “And with each state and territory running their own show, inconsistencies have created vulnerabilities.
“The time has come for all governments to work as a team and agree to a united approach on security industry regulations,” said Mr de Caires.
The COVID pandemic response confirms the vital front line role security personnel provide, whether it be screening the movement of people, maintaining social distancing in public spaces and workplaces, protecting hospitals, critical infrastructure, installing and maintaining electronic security systems, security personnel have performed a vital frontline role in support of Police and other agencies in helping to keep people and property safe.
Although some security COVID activities in Victoria have received critical comments, Mr de Caires highlighted the excellent work performed by security professionals in Victoria and across the country. He highlighted the success of the NSW Hotel Quarantine program involving up to 750 security personnel per day. “The NSW program has been subject to more rigorous Government audits of security officers’ pay and conditions, sub-contracting compliance, site inductions and training requirements. We need this level of regulatory enforcement across all states and territories,” he said.
Mr de Caires also emphasised the importance of ensuring proper pay and conditions for security officers. “We have heard concerning stories of sham contracting and the exploitation of individuals working under inappropriate ABN sole trader relationships in Victoria and Queensland. A national approach will assist the industry in addressing these issues said Mr de Caires.
In a letter to all government leaders and the Minister for Home Affairs, ASIAL has called for:
- nationally uniform and consistent security licensing eligibility requirements;
- effective regulatory enforcement and compliance;
- effective regulatory enforcement in the delivery of training;
- regulatory support to prevent the exploitation of individuals through illegal sham contracting arrangements;
- transparency in security procurement practices;
- a co-regulatory approach to ensure improved outcomes for all stakeholders.
ASIAL has urged all governments to come together and equip Australia with higher and more effective regulatory standards for the industry. “It is in everyone’s interests that we finally tackle this issue and get it right. A strong and robust security industry is a crucial part of Australia’s national security mix” Mr de Caires said.