More than 35 officers rallied on the Bruce Hwy near Maryborough Correctional Centre on Sunday morning.
More than 35 officers rallied on the Bruce Hwy near Maryborough Correctional Centre on Sunday morning. Contributed

Maryborough prison workers rally to protest budget cuts

MORE than 35 correctional officers rallied near Maryborough prison on Sunday morning to again voice their concern that budget cuts will risk community safety.

Together Union secretary Alex Scott said the workers were visiting Members of Parliament and dropping information in letterboxes in local neighbourhoods to highlight their concerns and would hold a community forum on May 30.

He said a collective vote in favour of stop-work action followed the "government's persistence to cut services and conditions in Queensland Corrections".

"These workers understand that right now privatisation threatens the work they do and threatens their effort to build better, safer and secure communities," Mr Scott said.

"Together is calling on the Queensland Government to stop risking our community safety by privatising these services.

"Privatisation at Maryborough Correctional Centre will also bring further crippling cuts to the local economy."

He said recent government cuts had seen a reduction in prisoner access to workshops and industries as well as prisoner rehabilitation activities.

"These courses are in place to make it less likely prisoners will reoffend in the future," Mr Scott said.

"Any reduction in these types of activities will see an increased risk for our communities in Queensland."

In addition to administrative staff being axed, the government has also cut psychologists responsible for assisting prisoners with individual problems and rehabilitation programs.

He added that consultation and the right to negotiate rosters were being stripped from the legal agreements covering corrections officers.

"These officers work hard to protect us, the Queensland public, from offenders and play an important role in assisting the process of offender rehabilitation," Mr Scott said.

At the stop-work rally in Maryborough, correctional officers resolved to engage with the local community about the economic and security dangers should Maryborough Correctional Centre be privatised.

Together Queensland will be holding a community forum about the dangers of privatisation at the Brolga Theatre's Federation Room at 7pm on Thursday, May 30.

Mr Scott will present information about the negative impacts of privatisation and said all community members were welcome to attend.



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