There is evidence of a poor training culture at Banksia Hill with many staff displaying a lack of understanding of the importance of training to enable them to prepare for emergencies. Some staff noted they had no specific training to quell a riot without recognising the importance of training for aspects of riotous behaviour such as responding to detainees being out of bounds. Another staff member questioned whether it was possible to have ‘adequate training for this type of incident’.
While it is acknowledged that a running a scenario where detainees continually breached their cells would have been unreasonable, this does not negate the importance of being adequately trained in dealing with riotous behaviour.
Training is subject to the challenges brought about by frequent staff shortages which severely limit training opportunities. To address the issue of staff shortages impacting training, a dedicated time of between 1.5 and 3 hours each Wednesday afternoon, was allocated for training. Detainees were locked down during this period so that staff could attend training. However even though the lockdown was occurring to allow staff to attend, training was not prioritised. This period was often taken up with competing priorities such as staff and union meetings. Staff estimated that as a result, training only occurred once a month.