The Queensland Government has announced plans for a new men’s prison near Gatton, a project that is expected to deliver a massive economic boost to the Lockyer Valley and create hundreds of jobs.

The new $618.863 million facility is planned for completion in 2022-23.

The Queensland State Budget 2019-2020 includes $2 million for a Scope of Procurement plan.

Minister for Corrective Services, Mark Ryan, said that the Government would deliver stage 2 of the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct near Gatton as a part of the most significant budget in terms of financial commitment and resourcing in the history of Queensland Corrective Services.

“The project is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs over the three-year build and eventually deliver more than 500 permanent jobs as well as ongoing opportunities for local businesses to supply goods and services, this is great news for the Lockyer Valley.

“It’s about delivering regional infrastructure and services for our growing state.

“It also means safer, less crowded, more effective prisons statewide, which will help reduce recidivism and keep our communities safer.

“Planning has commenced for a modern, evidence-based prison which will support safer communities through enhanced mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, with a focus on addressing the ice epidemic and its link to violent and property crime.

The Stage 2 Expansion is expected to deliver approximately 1000 beds for male prisoners by 2022-23, helping to address overcrowding across the correctional system and improving the safety of correctional officers and prisoners.

“This announcement is a part of the most significant reform of corrections in a generation, including the Government’s response to Taskforce Flaxton and the decision to transfer Queensland’s two privately-operated prisons to public operation in a world-first push to improve community safety and reduce recidivism,” Minister Ryan said.

It will be the first new prison built in Queensland since Southern Queensland Correctional Centre Stage 1 was opened in 2012, and is a part of the government’s significant investment in criminal justice system reform as a part of the Queensland State Budget.

“This is about investing in regional jobs today and for the future.

“And it’s about supporting Queensland regional businesses today and growing our economy for the future.”

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