To help keep our state safe, the Victorian Budget 2018/19 invests $689.5 million to build a new 700 bed maximum-security men’s prison at the Lara Prison Precinct.
The expansion follows the record investment by the Andrews Labor Government to recruit 3,135 extra police, and introduce tougher sentencing and bail laws.
These changes, plus an increasing population, are expected to grow prison numbers, which is why the Budget also includes $91 million for extra beds and security upgrades at existing facilities across the prison system.
This includes $1.7 million in planning money and $6.8 million to upgrade fire-detection systems for the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.
Construction of the new Lara Prison is set to create hundreds of local jobs, with ongoing employment opportunities once the facility is complete.
Through Local Jobs First we will ensure Victorian contractors and workers are given the opportunity to build this new facility. Under the Labor Government’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee, registered apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets will make up 10 per cent of the project’s total estimated labour hours.
We are also investing $20.9 million to respond to the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Terrorism and Violent Extremism Prevention and Response Powers, including $6.8 million for the justice system, further supporting staff to identify radicalisation in our prison system.
As part of the Labor Government’s continued overhaul of youth justice, the Budget invests $145 million to provide additional secure units and custodial staff at Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres, and a new and more secure perimeter fence at Malmsbury, to meet growing demand from tough bail and sentencing reforms.
This investment also includes the expansion of a number of custodial programs aimed at enhancing the security of youth justice centres, holding young offenders to account and supporting their rehabilitation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“We’re keeping our state safe, by investing in a strong and secure prison system.”
“Our tough new sentencing laws mean serious offenders will spend more time behind bars – by building this new prison, we’re making sure our corrections system is ready.”
“The previous Liberal Government left our state with crumbling, overcrowded prisons. We’re fixing that mess.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We’re getting on with the job of overhauling our youth justice system with better security, more beds, more staff and enhanced programs to keep offenders accountable and improve the chance for rehabilitation.”