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Issued: Friday, 4 November 2016
A new correctional centre at Cessnock will be set back a further 90-metres and a landscaped 3-metre high earth mound created to improve amenity for neighbouring properties.
An alternative entrance to the prison is under active consideration by Corrective Services NSW.
Corrective Services NSW has released the Review of Environmental Factors, which includes amendments and improvements to the proposal that were made following community consultation.
Lindsay Street will remain the general access point for staff and visitors during construction, while CSNSW works with Cessnock City Council on finding an alternative long-term entrance in response to community feedback.
Commissioner Peter Severin invited Cessnock residents to attend a community information session about the prison expansion on Tuesday 15 November.
"The expansion will see an additional 1,000 beds built in three new facilities, creating almost 400 new jobs and injecting more than $30 million worth of wages into the community," Mr Severin said.
"The Review of Environmental Factors considered and addressed potential environmental and social impacts, as well as taking into account feedback from the community in determining the final proposal.
"The review has resulted in a number of changes and strikes the right balance between the needs of the community and the urgent demand to address the growing prison population.
"An alternative location for the permanent entrance to the centre is being seriously considered, and we will be consulting with Cessnock City Council, appropriate agencies and others in the coming months."
"I invite all interested residents to come to the community information session to learn more about the expansion and the future operations of the new facility."
Outcomes of the review include:
The majority of health services required by inmates in the new facility will be provided by Justice Health on site and includes registered nurses, mental health programs and drug and alcohol interventions;
The continued presence of a major stable government employer will support investor confidence in the area;
A vegetation management plan will encourage the spread of vulnerable plant species, rutidosis heterogama, a yellow daisy commonly known as Heath Wrinklewort;
There is no evidence that the prison expansion will lead to rising crime rates, inmates' families moving to the area or inmates staying in town after their release;
The relocation of a group of Squirrel Gliders that live on the site, and additional tree planting to enhance the endangered possums' connectivity;
A 450-metre long hill will be constructed along the southern boundary of the complex in order to provide visual amenity for residents. The berm will be around 2-3-metres in height and landscaped with over 250 trees;
The Rapid Build Prison location has been shifted around 90-metres to the east and 25-metres to the north from the original concept location. This to ensure that an adequate buffer to the community is provided and an ecological corridor for native flora and fauna can be maintained; and
The revegetation of 9.8-hectares of endangered ecosystems and 12.3-hectares of enrichment planting within a Spotted Gum plantation.
The economic impact of the expansion will be positive and provide secure local employment and additional annual local expenditure. The economic benefits during construction will also be significant.
Community Information Session4pm-7pm, Tuesday 15 November, 2016Cessnock Correctional CentreAdministration building, Lindsay Street, Cessnock1800 875 345
Hard copies of the review are available for public viewing at Cessnock Library and Cessnock Council Chambers and online.