200 new jobs as Borallon Correctional Centre recommissioned

Published Wednesday, 08 July, 2015 at 08:42 AM

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Jo-Ann Miller

The Palaszczuk Government will recommission the Borallon Correctional Centre to address systemic overcrowding in Queensland’s jails caused by years of neglect by the LNP.

Corrective Services Minister Jo-Ann Miller said the Government had given the green light to recommission Borallon as a publicly-run prison from early next year to accommodate 492 male prisoners.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is committing $145.3 million over four years for the operation of Borallon Correctional Centre to provide additional capacity as well as $8.1 million this year to complete its recommissioning,” Minister Miller said.

“But this won’t be the same old Borallon. The Centre will partner with local community providers to offer leading employment, training and reintegration programs to get young prisoners lives back on track and break the cycle of crime.

“Fewer than 15 per cent of offenders who go to prison before the age of 21 have finished Year 12 – and that’s a big part of the problem.

“Borallon will focus on curbing harmful behaviours while providing meaningful opportunities for young prisoners to improve themselves and increase their chances of getting a job – which is actually one of the best ways to improve community safety.

“On my watch, prisoners at Borallon won’t be sitting around all day doing nothing or leaning bad habits. They’ll be learning or earning – it’s as simple as that.”

Minister Miller said Queensland’s prisons were overflowing thanks to the former Newman Government’s incompetence.

“On July 1 there were up to 1,402 prisoners sharing cells designed to accommodate one person. Sewage and water systems are at breaking point, prison medical officers are having to work in cramped quarters and staff are telling us that it’s unsafe,” Minister Miller said.

“The LNP conveniently figured out they had a massive problem on their hands just as a State Election was approaching. They rushed out and tried to get the private sector to mop up after them.

“We had to take a close look at what they had planned. At the election Queenslanders told us resoundingly that they don’t like privatisation – so I’ve put a stop to the LNP’s sneaky plan to privatise our prison system.”

The reopening of Borallon Correctional Centre will ease overcrowding and doubling up of prisoners across secure male correctional centres in southern Queensland, which are collectively operating at 112% capacity.

Reopening of Borallon will result in those centres operating at around 98% capacity based on the current number of prisoners.

Minister Miller said the reopening of Borallon would mean over 200 new jobs for Ipswich.

“This Government’s focus is on jobs and I am proud to be able to deliver more than 200 new jobs for our community,” Minister Miller said.

“I want Ipswich to benefit from the decision to reopen Borallon and that’s why I’ve asked that we recruit locals to help run it.

“We also want to target recruitment in such a way that we get people who are passionate about making a difference to their communities through education and training to get on board.”

Minister Miller said the Palaszczuk Government’s approach stands in stark contrast to the toxic mentality of the LNP.

“The LNP’s ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ approach to crime has failed spectacularly. But the know-it-all former Attorney-General couldn’t be told.

“Once again he is asking me to fix a problem that he created. And that’s what I’m doing.

“Just like his boot camp bungle and pink jumpsuits fiasco, this is just another black mark against the name of the former Attorney-General.”

Minister Miller said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to addressing chronic prison overcrowding.

“We know that opening Borallon is just one part of the solution. I’ve asked Queensland Corrective Services to continue working on medium and long term solutions to the problem.”

[ENDS] July 8 2015

Media contact: Brent Davidson (Minister Miller’s Office) 0438 696 185