Issued: 5 August 2016
Australia’s first high security rapid-build prison will be built in Wellington in the state’s central west, providing a boost to local jobs and the economy.
The innovative dormitory-style facility is part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion plan to safely cater for the rising prisoner population and better manage and reform inmates.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott, Deputy Premier and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin today attended the turning of the first sod to mark the start of work on the new facility at Wellington Correctional Centre.
“This rapid-build prison is an investment in community safety and allows us to quickly and flexibly adapt to the prisoner population,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Grant said the new facility would create an extra 220 jobs, more than doubling the number of staff roles at the prison – already the largest employer in Wellington.
“This will provide jobs throughout construction plus permanent ongoing correctional jobs, supporting our local economy,” Mr Grant said.
Commissioner Severin said the design allows for correctional officers to have good observation of prisoners at all times, and each dormitory includes a library and computer room.
“Officers will have access to thermal imaging cameras to help stop contraband items entering the facility, and a 24/7 Immediate Action Team to respond to incidents,” Commissioner Severin said.
Inmates will be engaged in activities including programs to reduce reoffending, education and industries for up to 12 hours per day, compared to six hours a day at similar security facilities.
Work on the rapid build prison is expected to be complete in mid-2017.