Correctional centre ripe for “Banana Blankey” production World's

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					Correctional
centre ripe
for “Banana
Blankey”
production
Lotus Glen Correctional Centre
(LGCC) is trialling the production
of the revolutionary invention of
a Mareeba banana grower.
Robert Watkins from Mt Uncle Farming
developed his “Banana Blankey” to protect
the fruit during handling and transport.

His unique design won a recent episode of
ABC television’s New Inventors show.               From left Banana Blankey creator Robert Watkins, banana carton supplier Joe Stacey and
                                                   Lotus Glen Correctional Centre Tailor Shop Trade Instructor Steven Soda with a carton of
Prototypes of the Banana Blankey were              bananas sitting on one of the first Banana Blankeys made in the centre’s Tailor Shop
made in China but the first production run
will be done by prisoners at LGCC.                                                                  Robert Watkins said it reduced handling
                                                  industries would create up to 20 additional
                                                  jobs per shift for prisoners.                     of bananas by 50 per cent and was
The trial will see prisoners produce 1000
                                                                                                    environmentally friendly.
Banana Blankeys each week for the local
                                                  “The prisoners will learn the basics of
primary producer.                                                                                   “The Banana Blankey is made of one
                                                  sewing and will be able to progress to more
                                                  complex tasks,” she said.                         material which eliminates five different
They will use a specially developed material
                                                                                                    plastic packaging materials,” he said.
made in Victoria.
                                                  “They will also learn about meeting targets,
                                                  managing production and warehousing, and          “The material absorbs shock and banana
The trial will be evaluated before Banana
                                                  asset management.                                 sap and will be hydrated at an optimum
Blankeys are offered for sale to other
                                                                                                    moisture during transport.
growers.
                                                  “Production will be integrated with the
                                                  prisoners’ vocational education and               This will keep the fruit cool and fresh so it
There is potential to expand production
                                                  training.                                         arrives ripe, pristine and ready to eat.
to 100,000 units each week to supply the
Australian premium banana packaging                                                                 “Currently a large number of bananas
                                                  “This will enhance their prospects for post-
industry, which handles about 13 million                                                            arrive at fruit shops and supermarkets
                                                  prison employment,” Gail said.
cartons each year.                                                                                  damaged or unripe,” Robert said.
                                                  Sewn into multiple compartments, the
LGCC Industry Advisor Gail Mostert said                                                             The Banana Blankey is completely
                                                  Banana Blankey allows the fruit to breathe,
the steady high volume work for prison                                                              recyclable and could be used for other
                                                  be hydrated and arrive in pristine condition.
                                                                                                    fruits including cherries and mangoes.




                                                    World’s Greatest Shave
                                                    Correctional staff from across the state          “The response has been fantastic, I’ve
                                                    have once again grabbed the chance to help        enjoyed the challenge of getting out and
                                                    others – shaving or dying their hair to raise     about getting sponsorship from people”
                                                    funds.                                            he said.

                                                    One top fundraiser was a Darling Downs            “I’m going to do it all over again in 2010,
                                                    Correctional Centre officer who raised            aiming to beat this year’s total.
                                                    $1000 for the Leukaemia Foundation’s
                                                    World’s Greatest Shave.                           Probation and Parole Officer Derek Spelman
                                                                                                      also lost his locks raising funds with
                                                    Custodial Supervisor, Neal Carthew said he        support from colleagues at Inala Probation
                                                    gained sponsorship from work colleagues,          and Parole District Office.
                                                    family and friends.

                                               Darling Downs Corrections Centre Genral Manager Bernie Kruhse
Page 13 / CN April 2009                                                                                                        Page 13 / CN April 2009
                                               lends a hand as Custodial Supervisor Neal Carthew goes under the razor

				
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