Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (18:08): My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Corrections and concerns a number of assaults in Victorian prisons against staff, specifically at the maximum-security facility at Barwon Prison. You have no doubt heard me say repeatedly that assaults against emergency services workers need to be addressed and that they are the lowest of the low. Well, once the criminal is locked up, it seems that the assaults do not stop there. I have heard from a reliable source that there have been five assaults at the Banksia unit at Barwon Prison alone in the past six weeks. This is a disgraceful number. On one of these occasions the prison officer was taken to hospital. On other occasions prison officers have been left concussed, with black eyes. Many are unable to return to work for long periods of time. It makes me wonder what is being done to stop this from happening or discourage inmates from assaulting prison workers. While six assaults may sound like a small number, this is just at one unit. I am also aware of assaults happening outside this unit as well. Each of these numbers have families that expect them to come home safely, and when a partner of a prison worker says, ‘I’ve been waiting for this phone call from the prison for a while’, you know there is a systemic problem that needs to be fixed urgently. It should go without saying that every person who goes to work deserves a safe working environment. I have been told that one prisoner in particular has a significant history of assaulting at least six staff at different locations across Victoria over the past two years, yet this inmate was moved from a highsecurity management unit to a lower security unit out of convenience. Obviously this exposed staff to unnecessary risk. It has been reported to me that security procedures to mitigate these risks have degraded over the last few years. Separate to this and to demonstrate that this issue is widespread, I have also heard that just last week a female prison officer was knocked unconscious at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre. Therefore the action that I seek is for the number of assaults on staff at Barwon Prison’s Banksia unit in the past 12 months to be made public and for the state government to detail how they plan to reduce the number of assaults at Barwon and other Victorian prisons.