Site works have commenced on a new 160-bed double-storey accommodation unit at Bunbury Regional Prison.

The project aims to address the overcrowded prisons crisis in Western Australia.

The new unit is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and will help with prisoner growth in regional WA.

It is part of a $23.7 million package to the prison that includes upgrades to the reception and educational facilities as well as the kitchen and a dining room.

It is expected that up to 70 per cent of the budgeted amount will be spent with local contractors, as part of the McGowan Labor Government’s commitment to local jobs and local content where possible. Bunbury-based builder Perkins WA have commenced the site works.

The new Bunbury unit is one of five new units that will be built on existing prison footprints.

Four new units will be constructed at Casuarina Prison, adding 512 beds to the prison estate to further ease the pressure on the State’s jails.

The five new units and the extra beds that have already been added to existing cells throughout WA jails, will result in nearly 900 new beds expected by the end of 2019.

Also announced today was the $500,000 refurbishment of a previously closed accommodation unit at Bunbury Regional Prison that will add an immediate 37 beds to the prison.

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