Prison officers ask Abetz to ‘Respect the Risk’

Prison Officers from Hakea and Casuarina Prisons will gather outside the Office of the Member for Southern River, Peter Abetz MLA, today to raise awareness of the risks faced by local Prison Officers who help manage some of the state’s most violent individuals.

13 out of 15 Western Australian prison facilities are suffering from serious overcrowding with both Hakea and Casuarina Prisons currently overcrowded.

The visit comes a week after two prison officers at Hakea Prison and others at Greenough and Albany Prisons were assaulted at work.

The Prison Officers will ask Mr Abetz to sign a pledge to respect the risks faced by local Prison Officers as they help keep our community safe.

The pledge calls on Mr Abetz to support the Respect the Risk campaign and seeks his support to get the Barnett-Grylls Government to:


  • Increase funding to the WA prison systen to deal with overcrowding

  • Build new facilities to address the chronic overcrowding at WA Prisons

  • Provide safe staffing levels to deal with the burgeoning prison population

  • Give Prison Officers a fair deal; and

  • Guarantee that foreign companies will not be allowed to run our prisons for profit.


The Officers and the Respect the Risk mobile billboard will be outside Mr Abetz’s office at Midday.

Afterwards the officers will meet with Suzy Thomas, the WA Labor Candidate for Southern River to seek her support for the campaign.

WA Prison Officers’ Union Secretary John Welch said the “Respect the Risk “ campaign was about getting a fairer deal for Prison Officers from the Barnett-Grylls Government.

“Prison officers are calling for proper staffing levels, new prison facilities to deal with the chronic overcrowding and better pay and conditions.

“We’ve been asking for action from the State Government on these issues for a while now but they’ve failed to respond. It’s now time they matched their tough law and order rhetoric with some action,” said Mr Welch.

Download this media release here.