The union representing contract security guards has slammed security management of the Commonwealth Games as a complete fiasco, saying it’s lucky there were no major incidents as 1000 guards walked off site.
United Voice spokesperson Glenn Conroy said the Games had put the Gold Coast and Queensland on the map for all the wrong reasons, labelling the event a shambles.
Some of the dangerous practices United Voice members reported witnessing include:
- A security guard screening and clearing spectators with their scanning wand turned off
- An undercover police weapon not being detected in a bag
- Guards screening monitors for 12 hour shifts when industry practice is a 20 minute rotation
- Guards not watching their monitors at all at screening points
- Guards appointed supervisor after holding a security license less than a month, without proper training
- Many guards did not receive any training
- One supervisor told a guard who had no training that he was qualified to screen attendees because he had travelled through an airport and been screened himself.
“We are only just getting the full picture as our members report back how shambolic the situation really was. It’s lucky something serious didn’t happen,” Mr Conroy said.
“Queensland has some of the most hard working, professional security guards in the world, and they were embarrassed to be associated with the Games because it was so mismanaged,” he said.
“We had major events like the swimming with only 35 per cent of rostered staff on duty, putting the fans, volunteers, staff and athletes at risk.
“Security guards were not allocated enough time in between shifts to sleep, and spent up to 12 hour shifts with no access to food or water. They were also forced to sleep in appalling accommodation that was overcrowded and overrun with lice, cockroaches and mice.
“Despite the union’s efforts on the ground which resolved some of the issues, Peter Beattie and Games organisers shoved their head in the sand and pretended nothing was wrong.
“I have to agree with the Premier and say that Peter Beattie should hang his head in shame.”
Mr Conroy said the issues at the Games signalled that the security industry in general needed an overhaul.
“There are some security companies that have been getting away with dodgy operations for far too long.
“Our members tell us about being underpaid, bullied, sacked without notice, and treated like second class citizens.
“This is something we will pursue beyond the Commonwealth Games, to ensure security guards can do the job they love, while being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”