Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan MP, Commissioner Peter Martin APM, and Lockyer Valley Major Cr Tanya Milligan have turned the first sod at the site of a new correctional centre in the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct near Gatton today.
As part of the Government’s once-in-a-generation investment in Queensland Corrective Services, the new 1000 bed correctional centre will support more than 1000 jobs in the Lockyer Valley region during the construction and operational phases of the project.
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan MP said that the new correctional centre will have up to 900 workers on site during peak construction periods before it is commissioned in late 2023.
“Our government has invested significantly in community safety in Queensland, and the further creation of approximately 500 permanent, fulltime custodial and support jobs, once the centre is operational, will be a huge economic boost for the region that will be felt for years to come,” Minister Ryan said.
“This new centre will be a modern, purpose-built facility with a specific focus on rehabilitation to reduce recidivism rates and keep the Queensland community safe.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for locals looking for a rewarding and diverse career while staying in the Lockyer Valley,” Minister Ryan said.
Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin APM said that the $654 million investment from government would help support best corrective services practice as well as significantly increase capacity in the correctional system.
“A therapeutic approach to reducing recidivism will be reinforced at this new correctional centre, with specialist drug and alcohol services, health and rehabilitation services onsite,” Commissioner Martin said.
“It also adds over 1000 beds to our capacity state-wide, which will significantly boost capacity.”
“We know through research that if we focus our efforts on an end-to-end case management model for prisoners and address the causes of offending behaviour, we are able to help those in our facilities to reintegrate back into the community, reduce recidivism and become more productive members of society,” Commissioner Martin said.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan said that the project was a massive win for the Lockyer Valley.
“Today’s sod turning at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Lockyer Valley and I certainly welcome the expansion,” Mayor Milligan said.
“This project has the potential to change lives, bring our community together and help turn the economic tide for our region through job creation and business opportunity.
“In 2020 business diversification was a necessity for survival and many local businesses had to look outside the box for opportunities.
“The commencement of construction encourages the same level of innovation, to ensure the Lockyer Valley community taps into this project as much as possible and reaps the benefits.
“Queensland Government policy means local companies will be engaged wherever possible, and there will be a strong focus on opportunities for apprentices and trainees.
“Having a new 1000 bed prison in the Lockyer Valley will have significant economic flow on effects for local businesses and suppliers,” Mayor Milligan said.
“The Lockyer Valley community welcomes the jobs that come with an infrastructure project of this size and we want to thank the government for investing in our region and in the safety of all Queenslanders.”
Minister Ryan also took this milestone opportunity to remind Queenslanders that there are currently a number of job opportunities available for those who want to contribute to a safer community by joining Queensland Corrective Services.
“This year, Queensland Corrective Services is going to employ hundreds of Queenslanders. This is your chance to be part of the frontline of community safety,” Minister Ryan said.