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Barnett evasive on missing video

12 Feb 2014, by Paul Papalia in Community, Parliament

The Barnett Government must either establish a full, open and independent inquiry or refer the circumstances of the escape of a dangerous rapist from a Serco prison van in Geraldton to the Corruption and Crime Commission.


Fast Facts:

  • Case for independent escape inquiry now overwhelming
  • Mystery of missing video tape needs to be solved
  • Serco should pay full amount for cost of manhunt


The inquiry should include particular reference to the issue of why there was no video recording of the escape from the prison van’s CCTV system.

Shadow Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia said there were too many questions and inconsistencies surrounding the issue of the video.

“Yesterday, the Commissioner of Corrective Services said the video was ‘operable’ but it did not record,” Mr Papalia said.

“And today Minister Joe Francis claimed the video feed could be seen in the cabin. If this is the case did the Serco officers see the escape occur and if not, why not?

“These vans are fitted with state of the art video surveillance systems and the whole issue of the missing video demands a proper investigation and explanation to the people of WA.

“The video affair is just typical of a Government in a shambles, that lacks basic management skills and surrounds itself in secrecy and deceit.”

Mr Papalia also called on Minister Francis to honour his commitment to make Serco pay for the cost of the manhunt for the escaped prisoners.

“Mr Francis told the public the manhunt cost authorities $450,000 and Serco would pay for this. Today it’s reported Serco will pay much less than half that amount for the search and recovery of the prisoners,” Mr Papalia said.

“That is not good enough. Why should WA taxpayers be hit with a bill for Serco’s mistake?”

Mr Papalia was also concerned the Barnett Government would try to bury the Corrective Services investigation into the Geraldton escape.

“The public have been given the impression that the Department’s report would be released but now it’s suggested the report will be kept secret,” Mr Papalia said.

“Whatever happened to open and accountable government?

“The public deserve to know the full story.”