Members would be aware that in person/contact visits have recommenced in centres.
Each centre has a visits plan that has been consulted on with all relevant stakeholders.
Two weeks ago the PSA held a Management Committee meeting, which had representatives from each sub branch.
The main topic discussed was the reintroduction of in-person/contact visits.
The delegates heard from representatives from the Command Post. Deputy Commissioner Luke Grant also attended and both stated that there would be no changes to the current requirements for visits until the New Year.
Today it has been raised that the Premier and Health Minister Brad Hazzard directed that there be changes to the visits rules. The changes the Premier and the Minister want are:
- 2 x 2 square metre
- two adults and unlimited children
- increase in visits/tables.
These changes were being considered to take place on Monday, 7 December 2020.
Today, the POVB Executive raised several concerns regarding these changes and asked for the following:
- The number of tables at visits centres do not change.
- The only children that can visit are direct relations, such as the inmate’s children. Not nieces, nephews or friend’s children.
- If inmates want to see their grandchildren, then it should be children from the one family. For example, if an inmate has three adult children who each has two children then one adult child attends with their two children, not grandkids from the other two adult children.
- When the Premier is talking about children, what age are they referring to? Any child over the age of 18 then should be classed as an adult and the two-adult rule should apply.
- In the case of one or more children attending, only one adult should be present, with the exception of a DOCS worker who is supervising the visit.
- If the Premier and the Minister want more visits to take place, then CSNSW needs to put on extra visit hours or days and the appropriate staffing. Not increase the table numbers.
Other concerns were:
- Lack of adequate consultation time for local delegates to meet with local managers.
- With the COVID-19-positive case in Minto, the membership would have concerns as to the outcome that this will have on the community. All media is stating that it will not be known until after the weekend.
NSW Health and the Government have stated they will act accordingly after more information becomes available over the weekend.
- Some centres are experiencing some minor issues regarding the in-person/contact visits. It would not be beneficial to make any further changes until those centres have their issues addressed.
The POVB were going to issue a direction to our members to not consult on any changes to our current centre visit plans as announced by the Premier.
We are able to advise members that discussions earlier this afternoon took place between the PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little and the Commissioner and it has been agreed that there will be further consultation on Monday, 7 December 2020.
If any member or delegate is asked to consult over the weekend regarding changes to their centre’s current visits plan the POVB Executive asks you to contact a member of the Executive for assistance.
Nicole Jess Chairperson
0427 609 199
Jason Charlton Vice Chairperson
0401 500 976
Amanda Cotter Secretary
0404 042 600
Thor Sutherland Assistant Secretary
0447 633 476
Darren King Country Vice Chair
0407 935 039
Natalie Howes Country Vice Chair
0407 011 441
Clinton Lamb Vice Chair Overseer
0400 709 144
David McCauley POVB Industrial Officer
0419 022 767
David Bartle POVB Industrial Officer
0418 425 976
Trish O’Brien Welfare Officer
0412 120 391