Thursday, 1 October 2009

Action alert - NSW Govt sells Parklea prison

In a sign that it has stopped listening to the community, the NSW Government announced it will hand over the Parklea prison keys to US-based company GEO Group.

Read the Public Service Association's media release below.

The misguided decision will be bad for prison inmates, bad for prison officers and bad for the entire community.

Despite Cessnock prison and transport services being saved from the sell-off, the Government is hell-bent on selling off an integral part of the NSW justice system.

As a result of this announcement, prison officers around the state have walked off the job in protest to the Government's preference for big business over community values.

But the fight isn't over yet. You can tell the Premier Nathan Rees and Minister for Corrective Services John Robertson what you think of their decision by emailing them:

Premier Nathan Rees: thepremier@www.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Corrective Services John Robertson: office@robertson.minister.nsw.gov.au

Thanks for your ongoing support for the Stop The Cell Off campaign, and stay tuned for more news.

Regards,
Matt Bindley and the Stop the Cell Off team



PSA PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday 30 September, 2009

Rees’ Parklea Shame

The NSW Government today sold out the people of Western Sydney by announcing that a multi-national corporation, GEO Group, will take over the operation of Parklea Correctional Complex, according to the Public Service Association (PSA).

PSA General Secretary John Cahill said the Premier’s announcement was a shameful betrayal of the local community and flew in the face of ALP policy.

“The community does not want its prisons to be run by corporations. That’s why the Government was forced into backing down on the privatisation of Cessnock Prison earlier this year.

“Private prisons make money by cutting corners. That means prisoners are less likely to get rehabilitated, and more likely to reoffend.

“Ultimately, the people of NSW will pay the price of company profits when inmates are released back into the community.”

Mr Cahill said handing over the keys to Parklea to a private company would not deliver cost savings to the taxpayer.

“The Public Service Association put forward an offer that would achieve $5 million in annual recurrent savings without compromising the quality of prison operations at Parklea.

“No matter how you look at this deal, the people of NSW will lose out.”

Mr Cahill said the NSW Government’s announcement coincided with the release of the Western Australian Government’s response to the gruesome death of an inmate in a privately-operated prison transport van.

“The Western Australian Government yesterday flagged that it would consider taking prison transport operations back under public control – but its hands are currently tied by contractual agreements.

“It beggars belief that the NSW Government is wilfully going down the same path of contracting out vital correctional services to a private company.”

Prison officers have voted to walk off the job for 24 hours in response to today’s announcement.

For more information, please contact:
John Cahill, 0419 413 577
Stewart Little, 0418 610 792

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