The Queensland Government has allocated $320 million to the state’s second biggest infrastructure project – the new Southern Queensland Correctional Centre – as part of a $1 billion government investment in Queensland Corrective Services for 2021-22.

The new, expanded 1,000-bed Southern Queensland Correctional Centre near Gatton will boost prison capacity across the state.

Corrective Services Minister, Mark Ryan, said the 2021-22 budget funding is part of a bigger, broader investment in the new facility, which is a $650 million-plus project.

“Supporting new infrastructure and construction jobs is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19,” Mr Ryan said.

“Stage Two of the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre will transform the Lockyer Valley. It is an even better version of the original design and it will deliver even more jobs for Queenslanders.

“And the $241 million expansion of Capricornia Correctional Centre at Rockhampton is nearing completion.

“This financial year $20.6 million is allocated to complete the expansion at Capricornia Correctional Centre with a refurbishment of existing older cells, the medical centre, kitchen and prisoner processing facilities underway.

Mr Ryan said as part of the expansion project, QCS is also undertaking a refurbishment of the existing older cells at the Centre to ensure they remain fit for purpose and to extend the life of that infrastructure. 

“This is a unique opportunity. The difficulties associated with refurbishing and repairing aging infrastructure in an operational prison are multiple and complex. 

“Over the coming months, as these refurbishments are completed and auxiliary services are brought online, the prisoner population at Capricornia will increase in a staged and safe manner, with full utilisation realised by the end of this year. I’m told that the project remains on time and on budget.

“Capacity will also be further boosted with $8 million this financial year to install additional bunk beds in high security correctional centres across Queensland.”

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