The Newman government’s commitment to openness and accountability by publishing up-to-date information on its open data website has fallen apart as the Attorney-General covers up vital statistics on Queensland’s prisons.
Shadow Police and Corrective Services Minister Bill Byrne said the government was refusing to publish accurate records on prisons and had simply stopped releasing information four months ago as Queensland prisoner numbers continued to swell.
“The last time information on prisons was made available to Queenslanders was back in August when the government updated its website as it has committed to each and every month,” Mr Byrne said.
“Clearly the LNP has no intention of providing Queenslanders up-to-date information in this critical area because after that, the information just stopped coming.
“Just like this government has refused to release crime figures, they are now continuing this pattern of behaviour with the prison data.
“These are the statistics that give Queenslanders a clear and accurate snapshot of how many men and women are in custody in our prisons at the beginning of every month.
“The figures give us a tally of how many prisoners are being held for serious crimes, the numbers of prisoners by age group, the gender and ethnicity of prisoners and where they lived before they entered the prison system.
“This is important information – it’s information that all Queenslanders should have access to, particularly after this government promised that it would be available at their fingertips.
“That promise has been broken.”
Mr Byrne said the Attorney-General needed to immediately tell Queenslanders why he was hiding the information.
“Clearly there’s been something to hide since the Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie took over responsibility for corrections and prisons earlier this year.
“Perhaps Mr Bleijie is worried that Queenslanders will see that prison numbers are out of control and he has no solution.
“What-ever the secret is, Jarrod Bleijie needs to share this information with the public as he and the government he represents committed to.
“Otherwise everyone will see this so-called ‘open data’ move for exactly what it is – and that is a joke.”
Bill BYRNE MP
Member for Rockhampton
Shadow Minister for Police, Corrective Services and
Emergency Services, Construction and Public Works,
Shop 3/7 Denham Street
ROCKHAMPTON Q 4700
(P O Box 729, ROCKHAMPTON Q 4700)
PH: 07 4927 5299
FAX: 07 4927 8212