Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan refused to say if the State Government would order a larger, public overarching review of the prison. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan refused to say if the State Government would order a larger, public overarching review of the prison. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Minister coy on prison inquiry

The State Government minister in-charge of prisons has refused to weigh-in on whether he will call for Townsville's scandal-plagued jail to undergo a public independent review, after it was hit by yet another drama on Monday.

Townsville Correctional Centre general manager Peter Hall was suspended on full pay for alleged "inappropriate misuse of his position and departmental resources", sparking an internal investigation.

Amid news of the suspension, Queensland Corrective Services commissioner Peter Martin also announced he had ordered a review of Townsville's prison to address staff concerns.

The Townsville Bulletin has reported for months on the bitter blame game between prison management and staff, who say there is a toxic and unsafe workplace culture.

But Mr Martin, when asked if the findings of the independent review would be made public, said he couldn't "say that that will be the case".

Townsville Prison has become embroiled in a messy public scandal.
Townsville Prison has become embroiled in a messy public scandal.

Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan refused to say if the State Government would order a larger, public overarching review of the prison when asked by the Bulletin yesterday.

Instead he said all matters at the prison would be thoroughly investigated and where appropriate the outcomes released publicly.

Criticism has also been lobbed at Mr Ryan over a lack of information on what had been done so far following a scathing Crime and Corruption Commission report that found the state's prison system was rife with overcrowding and corruption.

"Thirty three recommendations were made and, according to Mark Ryan, the government accepted them all fully or in-principle. Despite that, and the CCC requesting progress reports be published, there is no record of what's actually been done," Opposition North Queensland spokesman Dale Last said.

"Mark Ryan needs to stand up … and provide a public update on which recommendations have been actioned and, if there are recommendations that haven't, he needs to either provide a very good reason or he needs to announce his resignation as Minister."

Mr Ryan said the government had provided QCS with funding and the implementation of the recommendations had begun, though he did not go into specifics.


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