Media Release

19 August 2015

O’Donohue: Corrections Minister unable to explain riot bungle

Wednesday 19 August 2015


Corrections Minister unable to explain riot bungle


The introduction of smoking bans in prisons has been smoothly implemented across a range of comparable jurisdictions, from the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, New Zealand, many states in America, and just last week, New South Wales.  Unlike all these other jurisdictions, Victoria saw one of the worst riots in the history of the Victorian prison system.

The consequences of Daniel Andrews’ failure to manage this implementation are many.  It will cost the Victorian community tens of millions of dollars in repairs.  It has seen large parts of the maximum security system in lock down for weeks on end which in turn may see some of our worst criminals receiving a discount on their time behind bars.

Sources say hundreds of prison beds at the MRC have been taken off line. This has required the movement of hundreds of prisoners to other maximum security prisons, and we are advised, to medium security prisons such as Hopkins at Ararat. We understand that this reduced prison capacity has also put significant additional pressure on the police cell system.


Comments from the Shadow Minister for Corrections, Edward O’Donohue

In Question Time today Wade Noonan failed to answer basic questions following one of the worst prison riots in Victorian history at the Metropolitan Remand Centre.

Wade Noonan didn’t deny that as a result of hundreds of maximum security beds being taken off line, that some of the State’s worst prisoners have been transferred to medium security facilities such as Hopkins Correctional Centre at Ararat.

These prisons are neither designed for or have the capacity to house such serious criminals, potentially putting at risk the hard working staff of Corrections Victoria.

With the MRC and some other parts of the prison system still in lock down, 50 days after one of the worst riots in Victorian history, Wade Noonan has refused to act to stop some of the worst criminals from receiving a reward of a discounted sentence.