The United Workers Union has called for Corrections Minister Elise Archer to resign over her failure to acknowledge serious health and safety issues occurring daily in the state's prisons.
This follows a string of incidents between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve with correctional officers dealing with six instances of prisoner self-harm, 10 prisoner on prisoner assaults, one code red cell fire, an attempted prisoner on staff assault and one prisoner on staff assault which resulted in the officer having to go to hospital.
After Ms Archer was quoted in a Hobart newspaper saying there had been no series of assaults over this period, the minister has since clarified her comments saying on Thursday there had been no series of serious assaults between Christmas and the new year.
"Over that period, there was one reported incident of assault on a member of correctional staff on 30 December. That staff member was taken to hospital as a precaution, but was not admitted," Ms Archer said.
"It is disappointing that 10 incidents between inmates within the Risdon facility occurred over the Christmas New Year period, all of which were dealt with professionally and appropriately by correctional officers. There were no admissions to hospital.
"These types of incidents are not unexpected in any correctional facility."
UWU spokeswoman Jannette Armstrong said the minister's incompetence could no longer continue.
"The facts are clear - Risdon Prison Complex and Hobart Reception Prison are over capacity," Ms Armstrong said.
"There was an assault on an officer just before Christmas, an attempted assault on an officer on Christmas Day although no serious injuries eventuated, and there was an assault on an officer on December 30 which resulted in the officer being taken to hospital and having the week off work."
The Department's official daily report, obtained by The Examiner, stated the December 30 officer assault happened in the maximum security section at Risdon Prison and had been referred to Tasmania Police.
Franklin Labor MHA David O'Byrne said for Ms Archer to split hairs over whether an assault was serious or not showed how little she cared for the staff under her control.
"Any matter that is referred to police is serious [and] the minister needs to wake up and realise this has been a serious incident among a number of serious incidents and she needs to respond," Mr O'Byrne said.
"It is a powder-keg at Risdon Prison. We think the Premier should intervene."