Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan during Question Time. File picture
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan during Question Time. File picture

State takes back control of prisons

QUEENSLAND'S prisons will be brought back under public hands.

Police Minister Mark Ryan has this morning announced the move to transfer Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre and the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre from private to public control.

It will cost taxpayers an extra $111 million over four years.

It follows a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation and more than a year of union protests about conditions within one of Queensland's privately run prisons.

READ MORE: This is how much it costs to house one prisoner for a year. 

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni.

Those protests by United Voice led to the counselling of Housing Minister Mick de Brenni by the Premier after he attended one rally against Mr Ryan.

"The government is of the view that the transfer to public operation will lead to improved staff safety," he said in a statement.

"Importantly, this decision aligns government policy with issues arising from Taskforce Flaxton.

"The Taskforce observed that Queensland's hybrid prisons system, with its mix of private and public operational responsibility, was not optimal.

"The government believes by providing QCS with full operational and day-to-day management control of all prisons and all employees, the transition will strengthen corruption resistance in Queensland prisons and improve overall integrity."

READ MORE: How this prisoner's tumour grew unnoticed for months.

United Voice Queensland President Sharron Caddie issued a statement describing the move as a "step in the right direction".

"But what we really need is for the Government to address the serious, and potentially deadly, safety concerns our members have raised at Arthur Gorrie," she said.