No benefit but serious risk with decision to outsource new Young Offenders Facility

The WA Prison Officers’ Union (WAPOU) has called on the Barnett Government to reverse its decision to outsource a new Young Adults Facility.

Expressing disappointment at the announcement today, WAPOU Secretary John Welch said he was very surprised that a comprehensive evaluation, undertaken by the State Government, was supportive of outsourcing the new facility.

“We believe there will be little or no benefit to public coffers, and no improvement to public safety, by the decision to outsource this facility, said Mr Welch.

WAPOU called on the Minister to publically release the evaluation so the public could fully understand how the decision was made.

“The privatisation of any prison service poses a risk because experience around the globe shows that when prison services are privatised, jobs are cut in order to maximise profits for the company and its shareholders.

“The management of these facilities and services by multi-nationals has been called into question over recent times with riots at the privately managed Christmas Island Detention Centre and by the tragic case of Mr Ward.

“Western Australians don’t want foreign multinationals making profit out of the crimes of which they and their families are the victims.

“Prisons and prison services should always be held in public hands; they are the responsibility of the state,” said Mr Welch.

Mr Welch said the Barnett Government should not be using this decision to undercut the wages and conditions of Western Australian workers.

“If the Government persists with this flawed decision they must ensure that the workers at this facility get the same pay and conditions as those at other WA prisons,” said Mr Welch.

ENDS

Media interviews: Stephen Dawson 0419 045 200