Corrections Officers’ overtime at the Alexander Maconochie Centre has almost quadrupled in the past five years, from 8,295 hours in 2016-17, to 30,138 hours last year, costing taxpayers $7 million in overtime payments.
Correction Officers are on track to work even more overtime hours this year.
Shadow Minister for Corrections, Elizabeth Kikkert, said the government’s reliance on overtime simply to maintain basic prison functions is a sign of serious mismanagement and understaffing.
“The amount of overtime, and the rapid escalation of its use and reliance, is staggering,” Mrs Kikkert said.
"Rather than properly plan and adequately staff the prison, the ACT Government is overseeing a costly system that overworks our stalwart Corrections Officers and leaves them with no choice but to work hours and hours of overtime.
“The government’s mismanagement is costing the territory $7 million in overtime payments alone, and leaving our Corrections Officers tired and understaffed, which is certainly a safety concern that I have.
“The Corrections Minister needs to tell the Canberra community what immediate plans are in place to address this serious problem.
"I would like to recognise the hard work of our Corrections Officers who do such a commendable job under tough conditions and continue to do so despite serious government mismanagement and understaffing,” Mrs Kikkert concluded.