Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Justice Matters

Failure of management and Ministerial responsibility at Hakea

Labor Statement

A damning report by the Inspector of Custodial Service into Hakea Prison exposed a catalogue of failures including overcrowding, lack of maintenance, vermin infestations and a near complete breakdown of trust between management and prison officers, Shadow

Mr Logan said nearly all the shocking failures identified in Inspector Neil Morgan's report also appeared in his 2009 report into Hakea Prison.

"This shows a complete lack of will and responsibility by a succession of Barnett Government Ministers for Corrective Services," Mr Logan said.

"These failures reach right up to the Ministerial Offices of Murray Cowper, yet the Minister has today refused to front up and explain how he plans to address these issues.

"Mr Morgan effectively condemned parts of Unit 1, the key prisoners' management facility, claiming 'some areas are no longer fit for purpose'. He believed the unit 'needs to be replaced'."

Mr Logan said the report even criticised the Barnett Government's much-vaunted $650million investment into the construction of more prisoner accommodation.

"We have had three successive ministers in this critical portfolio, all of whom have boasted about their government's prison expansion program and it's turned into a complete farce," he said.

"I attended the official opening of the two new units at Hakea with the then Minister Redman in April 2011 and yet today they are still closed.

"Inspector Morgan demanded the two new units be opened as soon as possible.

"He also recommended that when the units are opened, they are 'articulated to better meet the needs and challenges of Hakeas diverse prisoner group'. This recommendation was rejected by the Department of Corrective Services."

Mr Logan said the Minister's track record suggested it was highly unlikely he would implement the Inspector's recommendations, especially the upgrades or replacement of Unit 1 and addressing the critical maintenance needs.

"Instead of arguing strongly for his portfolio in the State budget, he meekly rolled over and accepted only $2million for upgrades to Hakea, Casaurina and Albany prisons," he said.

"Mr Cowper is incapable of addressing the issues raised in the Inspector's report."

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