Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey
Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey

No visit yet from Qld Police Minister to M'boro prison

PRISON staff have pleaded with Police Minister Jack Dempsey - at least three times - to visit the Maryborough Correctional Facility - something the minister says he hopes to do "soon".

Together union regional organiser Ron Fossen said the union had previously contacted Mr Dempsey about visiting the 500-bed facility, while a staff member of the prison had also emailed the minister, with no response.

Prison officer and Together union delegate Tony Burke also approached the minister at the Fraser Coast Community Cabinet in February about visiting with prison staff.

Mr Burke has now written a letter to Mr Dempsey calling for budget cuts made last year to be reversed.

He said staff fear the reduced working times for prisoners will mean increased violence.

Mr Burke's letter was read out to loud cheers when an estimated 60 custodial officers took part in a three-hour strike on Thursday.

When asked if he would visit the centre, Mr Dempsey said he had already visited a number of prisons as part of his travels around the state and had spoken with those prison staff about issues.

"Any staff who wish to raise issues are also welcome to contact my office at any time," he said.

In his letter, Mr Burke said there was a high number of staff at the prison suffering emotional trauma due to the high number of assaults.

A Department of Community Safety spokesperson said there had been two assaults on staff so far in the 2012-13 financial year.

The spokesperson said four other centres have recorded the same number of assaults this year.

In the 2011-12 financial year, the DCS spokesperson said there had been one assault and one serious assault on staff at the prison.


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