Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Minister for Corrections
Shadow Minister for Corrections, Ella Haddad, said Labor would consult widely with the Westbury community on the location of the new prison and was demanding more detail from the Government.
“While we now know where the Government plans to build its new northern prison, there is still no detail on how it plans to fund running it,” Ms Haddad said.
“They’ve announced it will cost $270 million to build the prison, but there is no detail on how they plan to pay for staff to actually run the place.
“The reality is, the new facility will take at least a decade to build, meanwhile staff working in the prison system right now are crying out for more support from the Government.
“Risdon prison is a pressure cooker, with lockdowns caused by staff shortages almost every single day. This is risky for both inmates and prison staff.
“In the north, a leaked report has found a management strategy of harassment, bullying and intimidation was entrenched in the work culture of the Launceston Reception Prison.
“Meanwhile, we know state government departments are being asked to come up with $450 million in budget cuts.
“While Tasmania Police has been asked to find $18 million in savings, it is still unclear what proportion of the budget cuts will come out of the existing prison budget, or the budget to build the new prison.
“We have asked the government to rule out cuts to prison budgets but both Will Hodgman and Elise Archer have refused to rule them out.
“We know the prison system is stretched beyond workable levels. The recent series of prisoner escapes putting Tasmanians at serious risk shows that.
“The Government likes to talk tough on crime but the evidence is clear – it is failing to do its number one job – keep Tasmanians safe.”