News

We'll take more prisoners, says Lockyer Valley mayor

CALL TO EXPAND: Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones wants the prison precinct expanded from its current 300 prisoners to a capacity of 1600.
CALL TO EXPAND: Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones wants the prison precinct expanded from its current 300 prisoners to a capacity of 1600. Kerry Oneill

LOCKYER Valley Mayor Steve Jones is calling on the State Government to expand the capacity of the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre precinct north of Gatton five-fold in the coming State Budget.

The Mayor wants Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to fulfil the original plans for the site and expand from its population of 300 to 1600.

Mr Jones said expanding the prison would bring more construction and operational jobs to the region.

The prison, run by private contractors Serco, has been hit by claims of over-crowding in the past year.

Cr Jones said expansion was part of original negotiations with the Beattie and Bligh state governments.

"There is certainly room to move to expand the current 300-bed facility, and it was always flagged that this would be a 1600-1700 prisoner precinct in the future," he said.

"The pad is there ready to go; the infrastructure like water, sewer and roads are there ready to go; and I hope the State Government gives it strong consideration in this Budget, as well as future budgets, for the full expansion."

Mr Bleijie said he wouldn't discuss the budget contents but was happy to discuss proposals with the council.

"It is not appropriate to speculate on what's in the budget but I'm happy to discuss any suggestions Steve has," he said.

"Prison numbers are managed on a state-wide basis and fluctuate over time for a variety of reasons, and some prisoners sharing rooms is standard practice across the world."

Cr Jones said the existing prison had brought huge benefits to the region, and growing the prison would expand on them.

"The benefits the Lockyer Valley received during construction of the current facility were enormous and the ongoing operation and employment opportunities now provided by Serco are tremendous," he said.

"There are 200 staff employed by Serco, many of whom are local residents, and the extra staff that would be required to operate a facility with more than 1500 prisoners would be of huge benefit to the Lockyer Valley.

"We were also able to negotiate part State Government funding for state-of-the-art community facilities such as the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre .... as part of the original prison deal.

"All of the scaremongering and 'white elephant' claims that went on with the construction of the facility are long gone.

"I hope the State Government gives strong consideration to allocating funds for the expansion of the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct in their 2014/15 State Budget."

Topics:  jarrod bleijie mayor steve jones serco southern queensland correctional centre



Man charged for exposing himself to child at Ipswich park

The disability swing has been removed from Lilyvale Playground at Riverstone Rise. Photo Tegan Annett / The Observer

Police appealing for those with information to come forward

Coast fatal crash victim was 21 years old

A 21-year-old Ipswich man died when the car he was a passenger in crash on the Bruce Hwy at Forest Glen.

Police investigate whether charges will be laid after death

Driver in hospital after car hits pole

Ambulance with lights on

Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury

PARAMEDICS rush to Ipswich crash.

Local Partners

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

MACKAY will play host to one of the world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John later this year.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

Small screen users make switch to smaller screens

In this photo taken Oct. 16, 2013, a girl plays Supercelll's Hay Day game on an iPad. The Finnish 'Clash of Clans' mobile game maker Supercell said Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, it plans to launch its third game next month on a tide of soaring revenues and profits. The new game, 'Boom Beach,' will be launched in March. It's been tested in Canada and Australia, ranking fifth in both countries' iPhone app store lists, according to the company. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Milla Takala)  FINLAND OUT

The digital age generation makes the switch

Nadia visits Coast to escape Married At First Sight drama

Married At First Sight's Nadia Stamp takes a breather from the show's drama at Mooloolaba.

MAFS bride unwinds on the Coast ahead of commitment ceremony

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!