Two jails to be privatised

PRIVATE operators will take over the running of two NSW jails under an obscure provision in the mini-budget that the Rees Government hoped would go unnoticed.

The operation of Cessnock and Parklea prisons will be put out to tender, in an effort to save $16.1 million over the next three years. The privatisation is also designed to eliminate what the Government says are overtime rorts by prison officers, who allegedly take turns to call in sick, allowing their colleagues to work overtime at higher rates of pay.

The Government buried the announcement of the privatis-ation, which is likely to cause more industrial havoc with prison staff, under the heading “Further implementation of the Way Forward workplace reforms that will contribute to the department’s efficiency savings”.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General and Justice Minister, John Hatzistergos, confirmed the sell-off.

John Cahill, secretary of the Public Service Association, which covers prison staff, accused the Government of sneaking in the privatisations: “There are three lines in the mini-budget about jails but not one of them mentions this privatisation.”

source

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/two-jails-to-be-privatised/2008/11/11/1226318651868.html

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