Tele: NSW Police ask Unified Security to hand over 745 staff names in licencing dispute

(20 April) The supplier of 30 per cent of NSW hotel quarantine guards is opposing an attempt by police to get all its employees’ names due to fears a competitor could end up with the details.

Controversial Sydney company Unified Security is resisting a police bid for access to the names of hundreds of its NSW employees.

The access bid emerged on Tuesday during a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing that Unified commenced seeking to overturn a police decision to strip its master licence.

NSW Police’s Security Licensing and Enforcement Directorate made the decision to revoke Unified’s licence last month due to “undeclared changes in ownership”.

But before the cancellation took effect, NCAT granted an interim stay that is in place until next Monday.

The loss of its licence would devastate Unified and potentially cause upheaval in the NSW hotel quarantine program.

Unified has been providing about 30 per cent of the guards in the COVID-19 containment program.

Since April last year, the Ashfield-based firm has received more than $30 million under a quarantine contract with the NSW government to deliver 200 to 300 guards a day at more than 15 hotels.

NCAT on Tuesday heard police had sought access via summons to the names of all of Unified’s employees to test an affidavit that claimed the company had 745 staff in NSW.

Unified’s barrister Jaye Alderson said the information was “sensitive”.

“Our client’s workforce is its entire business,” Ms Alderson said, and there was pressure from competitors who wanted to get hold of such information.

She argued that there was no “legitimate forensic purpose” in police getting the names.

However, Melinda Norquay, for the Commissioner of Police, said the names were “very, very relevant” to the case for reasons including the “issue of subcontracting”.

During the inquiry into Victoria’s failed hotel quarantine program, Unified came under fire for its heavy use of subcontracting in that scheme.

NCAT is expected to make a decision on Wednesday about whether police should have access to the names.

Categories: ALL POSTS