Member for Mulgrave and Shadow treasurer, Curtis Pitt, says the LNP government’ must explain its backflip on causing more regional job cuts by privatising prisons.

“In December the Premier promised ‘no more job cuts’ and just a few months later his government starts down the privatisation path which will cost jobs at facilities like Lotus Glen Correctional Centre,” Mr Pitt said.

“In addition, in August last year when asked about privatisation of prisons the Police and Community Safety Minister, Jack Dempsey, clearly stated: ‘We have no plans for privatisation. None.’ (Brisbane Times 16 August 2012)

“He repeated the same sentiment at the Budget Estimates Hearings in October, so he too needs to explain his backflip.”

Mr Pitt said the state’s network of government-owned prisons was heavily regionalised with facilities in:

  • Far North Queensland (Lotus Glen Correctional Centre)
  • Central Queensland (Capricornia CC)
  • Fraser Coast (Maryborough CC)
  • North Queensland (Townsville CC)
  • South East Queensland (Woodford CC;  Palen Creek CC near Beaudesert; Numinbah CC in the Gold Coast Hinterland
  • Brisbane-Ipswich corridor (Brisbane CCC; Brisbane Women’s CCC; Wolston CC)

“At present there are more than 3,200 jobs in the prison system including almost 2,500 frontline jobs at both government-owned and privately operated jails,” Mr Pitt said.

“Reports today on the privatisation plans suggest new owners would cut running costs including their wages bills by 10%. Mr Dempsey needs to say today how many jobs will go.

“The LNP government’s mass sackings have already hit hard at local and regional economies and the Newman Government has already closed the Darling Downs Correction Centre, taking jobs out of the Toowoomba region.”

Mr Pitt said the LNP’s previously undeclared privatisation plans had come straight out of the second secret Costello Audit report and was never mentioned at the time of the 2012 state election.

“The loss of any prison jobs would mean fewer pay packets being spent in local and regional economies,” he said.

“It could also mean whole families leaving towns as people take new jobs elsewhere.”