Ray Hadley lashes MP over jail ‘naming ceremony’
Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts has vowed to push on with a renaming ceremony at a Sydney jail despite his government telling schoolkids they can't have graduations or school formals.
Mr Roberts was taken to task on The Ray Hadley Morning Show on Tuesday over the plan to have the ceremony at the Francis Greenway Correctional Complex near Windsor on Thursday.
The event, which had already been postponed due to COVID fears, will mark the official renaming of the entire complex - formerly the John Morony Correctional Complex - and include Mr Roberts, Corrections Minister Peter Severin and dignitaries.
The low-security men's prison on the complex will also be formally renamed the Geoffrey Pearce Correctional Centre in honour of a former prison officer who was stabbed with a HIV positive needle in the prison and died in 1997. Members of the Pearce family are expected to attend on Thursday.
"It's not about honouring the memory of Geoffrey Pearce, who needs to be honoured, it's about a government in NSW telling mums and dads and nans and pops 'you can't do this and you can't do that'," Hadley said.
"We can have a thousand people there next year when this bloody thing (COVID-19) goes. "It's not a time for celebration, everyone's pulling their heads in including the government one would hope, particularly in a week when the premier has apologised unreservedly for the stupidity of the Ruby Princess."
A Corrective Services spokeswoman on Tuesday said the event would be restricted to 10 people, not attended by the public media and there would not be songs from the corrective services band.
"The updated COVID-19 safety plan limits the number of attendees and therefore, the Honour Guard and CSNSW Band will not be attending," the statement said.
"The ceremony to mark the official renaming of Geoffrey Pearce Correctional Centre pays tribute to the bravery of correctional officer Geoffrey Pearce."
All attendees would be screened and denied entry if they had been in contact with a confirmed case or travelled to a hotspot.
Health authorities announced a major clampdown of non-curricular school activities yesterday, to try and slow the state's second wave of infections.
A string of school outbreaks preceded the new measure, which also ban wind instruments in orchestras and parents from attending sporting carnivals on school grounds.
Mr Roberts' office has been contacted for comment.
Originally published as Ray Hadley lashes MP over jail 'naming ceremony'