Budget delivers improvements for corrections but more is needed
As you all know the Queensland state budget was handed down on Tuesday the 12th June. It was a no surprises budget with election commitments being rolled out. You can hear some of Branch Secretary Alex Scott’s more general commentary on the budget on ABC Radio here at the 29:00 mark.
Budgets give us a good idea of the government’s priorities for the next 12 months and with respect to QCS, the budget handed down this year was a good start but we know that a lot more is needed.
The government has re-announced the money for the Capricornia Correctional Centre expansion, with an additional 84 cells on top of the previous announcement. While this is a welcome development, almost doubling the size of CCC when finished, we know that it will only reduce the current capacity pressure marginally.
Overcrowding in our prisons is going to remain until the government bites the bullet and builds a new prison. Until that happens we will continue to have more assaults, more incidents and more prisoners back in the community who haven’t been rehabilitated.
There was also $5.1M for additional clinical staff in Correctional Centres. We know that Health Services are a huge problem and a return to 24hr coverage is needed – so this money is welcome, but won’t achieve what is needed for Correctional staff. Delegates will continue to raise this with QCS until a satisfaction outcome is achieved.
While it’s not a line item in the budget we have also had confirmation from the Minister’s Office that the Commissioner has identified funding for the purchase of the remaining 1300 load bearing vests on top of the 1300 already purchased. This will see vests available for all staff by the end of the year and the Commissioner’s commitment is very welcome.
These wins were only possible because of the power you as correctional staff have built in your workplaces.
We'll have more news coming soon - thank you for everything you do as a union member to make your workplaces better.