Prison Services

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (14:39): My question is to the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services. What steps has the Marshall government taken to improve community safety and deliver better services to our South Australian prisons? 

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:39): TI thank the member for Flinders for his question and note his enthusiasm for having a safer community and better services within our state. At the March 2018 state election the Marshall Liberal government made a number of commitments relating to the Correctional Services portfolio, and we are delivering in that area. That includes the banning of outlaw motorcycle gangs from our state prisons and a zero tolerance policy in relation to drugs in prisons.

Banning outlaw motorcycle gang members is a significant step in the right direction towards achieving this aim, which, for those opposite, seems to be some kind of pipedream sitting off in never-never land. We are delivering an important reform that supports the government's war on drugs and delivers enhanced safety and security within our South Australian prisons. The new legislation took effect on 25 March 2019 and impacts on anyone who is identified as a member of a criminal organisation or outlaw motorcycle gang entering a prison.

All correctional jurisdictions are challenged by prisoner drug use and attempts to introduce drugs into prison, and the Marshall Liberal government is very keen to deliver these reforms. Unfortunately, the cohort of prisoners detained in South Australia for drug-related offences is not insignificant. Prisons have traditionally been prime locations for members of outlaw motorcycle gangs and organised crime groups to recruit more members, and those same groups attempt to continue their criminal activities and associations while they are in custody.

That is something that, I think, both sides of the house are very aware of. It happens the world over, and we want to do everything we can to stop those organisations from expanding their operations through our prison system. Such behaviour varies from opportunistic attempts to perform illegal acts and the distribution of contraband to recruiting people in a very systematic way.

As such, our efforts to stop outlaw motorcycle gangs from continuing their operations while they are in prisons is a very popular implementation of a new policy. In fact, not that long ago Correctional Services officers did a wonderful job identifying some contraband and actually found an outlaw motorcycle gang flag in prison. The flag had infiltrated in, and clearly that is an indication they are operating there. We are doing everything we can to close them down.

Added to that, just last week I was at Port Lincoln Prison in the electorate of the member for Flinders. We went out and had a look around, and it was wonderful to see some of the work being done there. We want to do all we can to try to rehabilitate people in prison and stop that cycle of recidivism and reoffending, and it was great to be there and have a look at the 200-hectare farming property. The member for Flinders was very impressed.

They produce barley and canola and they have livestock there as well, and you can see the prisoners are incredibly engaged in the programs they are running. They also have a commercial supermarket. Some of the fruit and veg they were growing was absolutely outstanding, and they are looking at expanding into flowers as well. They supply that to the local towns, and one of the very well-established local cafes is coming in sourcing some of the produce. It is great to have the prison giving back to the local community as well.

The engineering workshop was also outstanding. Both the member for Flinders and I were very impressed with that, creating racks and all sorts of equipment to go with the oyster industry over on the West Coast—a booming industry, as we know. The prisoners were very engaged with the work they were doing and the materials they were producing and, again, that sense of giving back to the community was outstanding. It was wonderful to be there and great to see the positive outcomes from the operations and work programs they have in place.

The SPEAKER: Before I move to the member for Kaurna, please stop the clock, Mr Clerk. I want to reiterate a point. We have been through this, but I will reiterate it. A memorandum made by a minister or by anyone else for the use of the minister, with a view to furnishing information to be communicated to the house, is not treated as a public document whose production can be enforced. But if I see a public document that is quoted, and the minister says that he or she is quoting from it, I am not going to be impressed and I may well order that it be tabled. Member for Kaurna.

Authorised by Corey Wingard MP, Member for Gibson. Level 2, 1 Milham Street Oaklands Park SA 5046. ©Copyright / Legal / Login