A 500-bed increase at the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct will boost capacity by 50 per cent and create hundreds more jobs for the Lockyer Valley region.
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said the expansion project would create more than 900 construction jobs in the region at its peak and once the centre is fully operational there would be more than 600 ongoing, operational jobs.
The expansion, funded through a record Queensland Corrective Services budget, means SQCP (Stage 2) will now have more than 1500 beds.
“The expansion, which is currently under construction, will boost community safety and regional employment opportunities, and will be a modern, purpose-built facility with a focus on rehabilitation to reduce reoffending.”
Major works on the $861 million correctional centre are expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and commissioning in the first half of 2024, weather permitting.
QCS has confirmed that the project is on track and that total construction site work hours completed since commencement is already more than 423,646 hours.
QCS has also confirmed that when the new correctional centre at the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct comes online, the Palaszczuk Government will have delivered more than 5300 additional beds across the Queensland correctional system.
Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Paul Stewart APM said the new custodial centre would increase community safety by enhancing rehabilitation outcomes.
“The operating model of the new custodial centre will focus on rehabilitation, incorporating mental health, alcohol and drug rehabilitation services, through-care and end-to-end case management.
“The expansion of the custodial centre will provide corrections officers with state-of-the art infrastructure, providing them with safe, fit-for-purpose facilities in which to engage with prisoners, maximising the opportunity to rehabilitate prisoners and reduce reoffending.
“This, along with the reduction in prisoner density across the system will maximise opportunities for our officers to make lasting, positive changes to amongst prisoners, reducing future offending,” Commissioner Stewart said.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan welcomed the announced expansion and the prospect of even more jobs for locals.
“Large-scale projects such as this have the potential to generate positive and tangible financial impacts for our region through job creation and business opportunity,” Mayor Milligan said.
“We’re already reaping the benefits of the current expansion of the Southern Queensland Correctional facility, and this additional financial commitment is a welcome boost for our region.
“The city convenience and country living of the Lockyer Valley is becoming increasingly attractive as people continue to seek that sought-after work-life balance – and with the new prison requiring a workforce of more than 600 people the State Government’s investment in our community will continue to put us on the radar of many families.”
Together Union Assistant Branch Secretary Michael Thomas said delegates and members were really looking forward to the project continuing.
“QCS should be commended on the way the project has been undertaken,” Mr Thomas said.
“Right from the start our delegates have been consulted in the design of the new prison to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.
“The increase in size by an extra 500 beds is also welcome news. We know overcrowding is a challenge for all jurisdictions and the increase to 1500 beds will help ensure the system has sufficient capacity to meet future demand.”