Infrastructure company Transfield Services - which just announced it had won $88 million of broadband contracts in New Zealand - also revealed a A$1.2 billion deal this week for it to operate Australia's detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

The ASX-listed company's links to the detention centres have caused controversy for the Biennale of Sydney this week because of a related company's sponsorship of the event.

According to the Biennale's website it "ranks as one of the leading international festivals of contemporary art in the world".

The Sydney Morning Herald reported this week that five artists have pulled out of the Biennale "in light of Transfield's expanding management of Manus Island and Nauru immigration detention centres".


The facilities on Manus Island and Nauru are used to detain asylum seekers attempting to come to Australia. An investigation is underway after the death of an Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Berati, during unrest on Manus Island last week.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday Transfield said it had won a five-year contract with Chorus to install the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network in Blenheim, Nelson, Rotorua, Taupo and Whakatane.

It also revealed a two-year deal with Chorus to build rural broadband services as part of the Government's internet initiative in areas outside of the UFB zones.

Transfield said these two contracts were worth $88 million.

On Monday, the company said it had received a formal letter of intent with the Australian Government to provide "Garrison and Welfare" services at offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus.

"Based on the current occupancy of each centre, the contract is valued at $1.22 billion," Transfield said.

Transfield has operated at Nauru since the centre was set up in 2001.

The Australian company has been responsible for about 10 percent of Chorus's broadband build, and has also contracted to other UFB roll-out partners who have contracts for the remaining 30 percent of the rollout, including Enable in Christchurch and WEL Networks in the Waikato.


Additional reporting: BusinessDesk