Victorian Pre-election Rally - End prison privatisation

End prison privatisationVictorian Pre-election Rally
Wednesday 24 November, 12:30 pm
State Parliament, Spring Street, Melbourne for a 12:45 march to the offices of James Merlino, the new Minister for Police and Corrections, Level 7, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne

Stop Aboriginal deaths in custody!
Justice for Mr Ward!
Cancel all contracts with G4S!

G4S, the British global security giant, is a company that has blood on its hands. Meanwhile, state governments try to wash their hands of any responsibility. While families of those who've lost a loved one in custody are left wringing their hands with grief.

Mr Ward, an Aboriginal elder, died in the back of a prison transport van in January 2008. For nearly 4 hours he was locked in the back with no air-conditioning and no other source of ventilation. The guards driving him, from private contractor Global Solutions Ltd, now G4S, did not check on him during the journey. The total trip was nearly 1,000 kilometres, much of it in extreme heat of 42 degrees.

A police reconstruction of the journey showed surface temperatures inside the van reached at least 50C. The West Australian Coroner found the death of this well respected Warburton Elder, was caused by heatstroke sustained while being transported in the van. He said that it was "wholly unnecessary and avoidable."

The company has a shocking record. The Victorian coroner found it contributed to a 2005 death in Port Phillip prison and that the company failed to provide a safe environment at the prison when four men hanged themselves in 1997. G4S made international headlines again on October 14 this year when a man in their care, being deported from the UK to Angola, died while being heavily restrained with what witnesses say was excessive force.

G4S, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, profits from human misery. Its nett income in 2009 was 219.2 million pounds. It's the world's largest security company, with operations in more than 110 countries.

Victorian Pre-election Rally
Wednesday 24 November, 12:30 pm
State Parliament, Spring Street, Melbourne for a 12:45 march to the offices of James Merlino, the new Minister for Police and Corrections, Level 7, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne

We'll serve a log of claims on the Minister demanding:
• G4S be stripped of all contracts it has been awarded by the Victorian State Government
• An end to deaths in custody — full implementation of the 339 recommendations of the 1987 – 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
• An end to privatisation of custodial services
• Immediate cessation of the Victorian Taser trial — make Victoria a Taser free zone!

Organised by Indigenous Social Justice Association — Melbourne

Endorsed by: ANTaR Victoria, Anarchist Black Cross, Doin Time Show - 3CR, Freedom Socialist Party, Radical Women, Socialist Alliance and Socialist Party (list in progress - contact ISJA to endorse)

For more information contact: Solidarity Salon on 9388-0062, Cheryl on 0401 806 331 or e-mail alison.thorne@ozemail.com.au www.isja-msg.com

pdf  Pre-Election Poster Download

Comments

Worksafe WA lays charges over Mr W death

Debbie Guest The Australian January 19th, 2011

The WA government, a private security firm and two guards have been charged over the death in custody of an Aboriginal man almost three years ago.

Mr Ward, whose first name cannot be used for cultural reasons, died from heatstroke in the back of a clapped-out prison van while being driven 360km across the desert to face a drink-driving charge in January 2008.

The van's air-conditioning and an emergency distress buzzer were not working at the time.

The Department of Corrective Services has been charged with failing to ensure that Mr Ward was not exposed to hazards and, by that failure, causing the death of Mr Ward.

Worksafe WA will allege that the department did not adequately maintain the van and ensure that its contractor, private security firm G4S, had safe systems in place to transport people in custody.

The department faces a maximum penalty of $400,000.

G4S has been charged with failing to ensure that Mr Ward was not adversely affected by work undertaken and, by that failure, causing the death of Mr Ward.

The company also faces a maximum penalty of $400,000.

The two drivers of the van, Nina Stokoe and Graham Powell, have been charged with failing to take reasonable care to avoid adversely affecting the safety or health of Mr Ward.

They both face a maximum penalty of $20,000.

Announcing the charges today, Worksafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said the charges were the culmination of an extensive and complex six month investigation. The investigation began after WA's DPP decided criminal charges would not be laid.

Ms Lyhne said the charges were a good example of the breadth of occupational safety and health legislation.

"The fact that four parties have been charged illustrates that the responsibility for keeping the workplace safe extends to a number of different parties in the workplace who have different roles," she said.

Please support the Ward

Please support the Ward family in their fight for justice. This fight is not lost. We have not forgotten. G4S and the DPP must be held accountable.
From Warakurna Community, WA.

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