News National Senator spied on at Nauru: whistleblower

Senator spied on at Nauru: whistleblower

Security staff said they observed Sarah Hanson-Young's every move.
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Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was spied on by eight security employees who tracked her every move on her visit to Nauru, a whistleblower has revealed.

A former Wilson Security guard said the senator was the target of an extensive spy operation when she visited Nauru in 2013 to inspect immigration detention facilities, with guards briefed on her room number, vehicle and what time she was going to be in and out of the camp.

He told ABC TV on Thursday the guards were told to follow Ms Hanson-Young and keep notes on who she talked to around the island and in her room.

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But after allegations of the spying spread, the guards were called in by management.

“They were told to shred pages from their notebooks and any reports they had written up,” the unnamed whistleblower said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott had previously rejected Ms Hanson-Young’s claim she was spied on, insisting she was “looked after” during her visit.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton dismissed her concerns, saying: “Generally she doesn’t get her facts right.”

Wilson Security executive manager John Rogers apologised to the senator last month during a Senate inquiry hearing but said the spying was conducted by a “misguided” supervisor who was suspended with pay once his actions came to light.

The whistleblower alleged Wilson repeatedly misled the Senate inquiry, disputing its evidence that staff were trained to report any abuse to a special whistleblower hotline, and that alcohol testing of staff was conducted daily.

He said he had never heard of the abuse hotline, and had not witnessed alcohol testing during his time working on Nauru.

A Senate inquiry examining allegations of misconduct at Nauru, due to hand down its recommendations shortly, will probably include a demand for children to be removed from detention, the ABC reported.

It was also likely to demand that reporting of sexual abuse be made mandatory and that the immigration department and federal police conduct a full audit of all allegations.

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