Minister says market testing will deliver better prison outcomes
UPDATE: The NSW Government has invited Corrective Services NSW to make a competing bid to continue operating John Morony – to show us how it can innovate and be more effective.
Market testing will provide a realistic idea of how better outcomes can be achieved, strengthening the benchmarking process being introduced at all prisons over the next two years.
In addition to the new prison at Grafton and expanding Parklea, the reform will be supported by more than 1,100 prisoner beds to be delivered across the system.
“I have met union representatives on a number of occasions about workers compensation and acknowledge their concerns,” said Corrective Services Minister David Elliott.
“I have also raised their concerns with Cabinet colleagues and as a result State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) issued a discussion paper on calculation of workers compensation.
“I understand that SIRA will meet with the Public Service Association to discuss its concerns.”
UNION VIEWS: The chairmain of the Prison Officers Vocational Branch of the Public Service Association Steve McMahon has contacted The Daily Examiner. There will be more from him later.
EARLIER: THE State Government’s latest proposed reforms of the prison system have betrayed staff in public jails says a former prison governor.
John Heffernan, who retired from Grafton jail as governor in 2005, said the proposed trial of the reforms at the John Morony Correctional Centre broke a promise Corrective Services Minister David Elliott made to prison officers.
“It’s an absolute betrayal of the officers,” he said. “He promised he would allow time to compare performances between public and private jails.
“Elliott’s jumped that step and gone straight to trialing market testing at the John Morony Centre.”
He said this would anger prison staff as they had been working with the government to cope with overcrowding in the prison system.
“The acquiesced on the overcrowding while the minister has promised to look into the workers compensation issue,” Mr Heffernan said.
“If they (staff) decide to put a reception ban on the John Morony Centre, that will bring the system to its knees.”