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Published date: Friday, 14 September 2018
The NSW Government has ruled out Kembla Grange as a potential location for a new correctional facility following detailed site investigations and consultation with the community.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said Corrective Services NSW carried out extensive feasibility studies, which considered environment constraints, operational needs and the social impacts of any proposed prison.
“Following six months of detailed investigations and consultation, we have ruled out the site at Kembla Grange. Today’s announcement provides certainty for landholders in the area, as well as current and future residents of Kembla Grange,” Mr Elliott said.
“I thank Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward for his work and providing me with full and frank advice on this issue.”
Studies commissioned by CSNSW found that while roughly half the land at Kembla Grange is suitable for development, the site lacks a single block of adequate space for a prison facility, making it too expensive to build on.
Mr Ward said thorough site investigations and community consultation was a vital part of the assessment process.
“More than 300 members of the Illawarra community provided feedback on the proposal, assisting CSNSW to identify potential constraints,” Mr Ward said.
“Residents can be confident that we have done our homework and made the right decision for the Illawarra and NSW by ensuring any potential new prison will provide value-for-money for taxpayers.”
Since September 2016, CSNSW capacity has increased by more than 1,100 beds through the reopening and expanding of existing centres and the construction of two new 400-bed Rapid-Build Prisons.
The new 1,700-bed Clarence Correctional Centre in Grafton, slated to open in mid-2020, will inject $560 million into the regional economy over the next 20 years and create 1,100 jobs during construction and 600 once operational.