Now, the Queensland government is attempting to establish a permanent prison work camp and the site for this is close to the residence of the superintendent of the Innisfail hospital. The proposed permanent camp will be 150 metres from the doctor's house.
Peter McKenna has stated that he is being forced to live in fear for his children's safety and that of his own and his wife with the camp being so close. He has also stated that he will leave town, therefore the hospital will be one doctor short which will have an impact on services.
What part of "the prisoners are carefully screened, extremely low risk, non-violent offenders" does Dr McKenna not understand? You have more chance of an everyday member of society committing an offence against you than those at the work camp. It is time that this town moved ahead with the times, accepted that there are things in life we may not like but it is all part of progress. The prisoners performed clean up duties and maintenance work around the town and still do. Many sat on their ass and collected donations and relief money and the prisoners as part of their work and rehabilitation went ahead sometimes in atrocious weather conditions.
Yes prison is for offenders who break the law, but come on, unpaid fines, petty crimes, does that make you less human? Our local MP, Bob Katter had the following to say:
"If I was the superintendent I would not want my wife and young family left alone while I am on night shift near these criminals, so I would leave too."
If the prison work camp was to be situated near my house, I would still sleep easy at night. Like I said before, we are at much greater risk from a "free" member of the community. Better the devil you know than the one you don't. A thousand signatures were collected in protest of the camp, yet this district has over 25,000 people.
Dr. McKenna may be a valuable staff member of the hospital, he however is not indispensable. He is holding this town to ransom with the threat of resignation if he doesn't get his own way. Pity he wasn't so passionate about gaining speech pathologist services that have been lacking for months. Pity he wasn't so passionate about the lives of babies Jaimi and Lorraine.