Tele: Southern Cross Group fined over involvement in NSW hotel quarantine program

A Sydney security company has been fined for unlawfully subcontracting other guard businesses to provide protection at two quarantine hotels in the CBD.

Southern Cross Group has been hit with three penalty infringement notices (PINs), which it intends to challenge in court.

Southern Cross provided as many as 110 guards at the Marriott and Sheraton in April and May last year.

Allegations of unauthorised subcontracting to three other providers triggered an investigation by NSW Police’s Security Licensing and Enforcement Directorate.

Following the investigation, three PINs totalling $6600 were issued in February this year for breaches of section 38 of NSW’s Security Industry Act.

“We are contesting them,” said Southern Cross chief operating officer Scott Taylor.

The company had complied with s38, Mr Taylor said.

“We have already briefed our solicitor and have passed over the additional evidence needed to run the matter and feel very confident about the outcome,” he said.

The final report of the official inquiry into Victoria’s failed hotel quarantine program found “the heavy reliance on subcontracting posed a significant risk” to success “in terms of the quality and competence of security guards actually recruited.”

That finding related to all the private security firms in the Victorian program. Southern Cross was not involved in that program.

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