$1.2b deal to run asylum camps
The Manus Island detention centre where the riot broke out. Picture: ABC News

The troubled immigration detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru will deliver their new manager a $1.2 billion bonanza from taxpayers.

As Transfield Services outlined just how lucrative its 20-month contract to run the centres would be, it emerged that a senior manager at the Manus Island centre is a former Sri Lankan military commander.

And a refugee group claimed a pregnant detainee had opted for an abortion because she did not want to give birth inside the Nauru camp.

Transfield already runs the Nauru centre and is taking over day-to-day running of the Manus Island centre from security company G4S. It will also assume the Salvation Army's responsibility for providing welfare services.

Though the loss of G4S's contract is unrelated to last week's outbreak of violence, it has been suggested Papua New Guinea nationals employed as guards by the company teamed up with local police to attack detainees. Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati died and 62 others were injured.

Transfield said based on the current occupancy of the centres - just over 2400 people - the contract was worth $1.22 billion. It will subcontract responsibility for security to Wilson Security.

The changeover comes as coalition ministers backed Immigration Minister Scott Morrison after his weekend correction that most of the violence, including Mr Berati's death, happened inside the Manus Island centre and not outside as he first stated.

While the Greens repeated their demand Mr Morrison be sacked, Labor's question time attack lacked punch.

Human rights groups urged the Government to remove operations manager Dinesh Perera from the Manus Island centre, saying it was insensitive to Tamil asylum seekers housed there.

Mr Morrison said the centre was under PNG jurisdiction and G4S said Mr Perera had worked for the company for years and was qualified for the role. Refugee group ChilOut said a woman was moved to a Brisbane hospital a few weeks ago for a termination rather than try to raise a "life in limbo" on Nauru.

A spokesman for Mr Morrison said the claim was "outrageous".

"The Government rejects any suggestion that Australia's offshore processing policy provides any legitimate medical grounds for a parent to choose to have an abortion," the spokesman said.

The West Australian

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