United Voice, the union representing correctional officers working at Queensland’s privately run prison Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, is calling on the Queensland Government to ditch GEO over growing safety concerns.
United Voice Queensland spokesperson Damien Davie said the New South Wales Government was not renewing its contract with GEO in the upcoming tender, and Queensland needed to do the same.
The same issues that occurred at Parklea Correctional Centre in New South Wales are also prevalent at Arthur Gorrie.
“We’ve had some shocking incidents at Arthur Gorrie here in Queensland, and correctional officers now fear for their safety,” Mr Davie said.
“Our members tell us drugs are rife at Arthur Gorrie and it’s getting worse by the day, due to the mismanagement by GEO.
“In recent months, a number of officers at Arthur Gorrie have been viciously assaulted, and management just don’t seem to take it seriously.
“Alarmingly, more than 85 per cent of correctional officers surveyed said management did not treat their safety with the respect that it deserves.
“Around 90 per cent of surveyed staff also said staffing levels were not normally at an adequate and safe working level.
“This is absolutely appalling and shows GEO’s complete disregard for safety at their prisons.
“They need to go before another correctional officer is assaulted or worse.
“Minister Mark Ryan needs to take this seriously and take action.
“They simply cannot afford to renew the existing contract with GEO.
“We need prisons to be managed safely in Queensland, and for our members to come home from work unharmed at the end of each day.”
United Voice is the union representing correctional officers in Queensland’s two privately run prisons - Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre and Southern Queensland Correctional Centre.