Staff at Tasmanian prisons have been left with little option but to take stop work action today as their repeated concerns to the Liberal Government over workplace safety continue to be ignored.
Shadow Corrections Minister Ella Haddad said serious on-going concerns in relation to chronic understaffing of the prison and a continued effort to cut corners by the government and Minister Elise Archer had led to the stop work action.
“Despite an ongoing flood of reports from the Custodial Inspector and despite constant representations to Ms Archer, the situation at the prison remains on a knife’s edge,” Ms Haddad said.
“The prison remains overcrowded, staff numbers are often too short to safely operate the prison and working conditions are dangerous.
“Safety is being compromised on a daily basis for both staff and inmates.
“With the reports of the Custodial Inspector outlining these facts continuing to mount on Ms Archer’s desk, the Corrections Minister is acutely aware of this unacceptable situation.
“Additionally, representatives of the prison staff have informed Ms Archer first hand of a dangerous situation that must be remedied.
“But with no action from Ms Archer or the government, workers have been left with no choice but to take a stand with stop work action.
“How else will the government actually listen and take these concerns seriously?
“I urge the Liberal Government to get on with the job of ensuring the safety of the corrections system finally becomes a priority.
“Ms Archer can no longer ignore what is right in front of her.”
Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Corrections Minister