Private-Police Partnership for Water Project Spying

Victoria Police has negotiated a formal agreement with the developers of a desalination plant to provide police files to the project developers. Paul Austin reports that "Victoria Police has agreed to hand over photos, video recordings and other police records to the international consortium AquaSure to help it 'manage' protests and potential security threats." A 20-page agreement was signed between Victoria Police and AquaSure in late August and contains a provision that police ''will release law enforcement data'' to the desalination plant developers. AquaSure is a consortium which comprises water, construction and finance companies Degremont, Suez Environment, Thiess and Macquarie Capital Group. Michael Pearce, the president of the civil rights group, Liberty Victoria, said "this seems to be a part of the Government's heavy-handed response to relatively low-level protest activity which is a part of the democratic process in relation to a project of enormous public significance.''