Australia's offshore contracts: how millions were spent for dubious outcomes

Canstruct was directly approached for an even bigger deal, worth $591m, to run the Nauru detention centre. Canstruct was the only bidder in an effectively closed tender process. It was a construction firm with limited experience running the garrison or welfare services it was now tasked with providing.

“One day they were building tunnels and the next they were managing welfare services for a group of highly vulnerable and traumatised people,” the Human Rights Legal Centre’s legal advocacy director, Keren Adams, said.

Canstruct’s last annual return, filed with the corporate regulator, revealed a $43m profit in seven months running the centre.