Correctional Services, Staffing Budget

27 Sep 2006 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Correctional Services a question about the correctional services staffing budget.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: In the 2006-07 budget estimate, the Department for Correctional Services is predicted to have an increase in FTEs from the 2005-06 estimate of 1 412.4 to 1 435.6, which is a 1.6 per cent increase in staffing numbers. Listed under Program No. 2, Custodial Services, the projected increase for employee benefits and costs is some 4 per cent. My questions are:

1. Will the minister advise which underlying trends were utilised to reach both of those figures?

2. Was the Public Service Association consulted in relation to this?

3. Is the minister confident that the increase in staffing and budget will be enough to allay the concerns of the PSA in relation to staffing safety and the need for future lockdowns?

The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO (Minister for Correctional Services): I thank the honourable member for her question and, again, I place on record that I am certain that she joins me in the fabulous announcement the Treasurer made last week, to see new—

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO: The Leader of the Opposition did, so I am sure that you do, as well. The advice on this side of the council is that the honourable member should not give up her day job, as a member of parliament, because her predictions were not exactly spot-on. The Department for Correctional Services will continue to recruit numbers to its department. Several weeks ago I was at a graduation ceremony where, I think, the 57th person had graduated in this calendar year. The department will continue with that recruitment and also the training of its staff. We have just seen some extra staff going to Yatala, and further staff will need to go to the Adelaide Women’s Prison, as well.

We do have a very good recruitment program and, as I said, that will continue. I have every confidence in my chief executive and the way that he manages his staffing and the department.