Signifying an historic milestone, Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) has successfully transitioned to public operation.
Following the recommendations of the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Taskforce Flaxton in 2018, the Government announced the transition of Queensland’s two privately operated prisons to public operation.
Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan MP said the transition of Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre and now SQCC as part of Operation Certitude was one of a range of key reforms the government initiated to modernise the correctional system.
“The transition of Southern Queensland Correctional Centre means that every prison in Queensland is now under the management of Queensland Corrective Services (QCS),” Minister Ryan said.
“I want to welcome the officers who transitioned to Queensland Corrective Services and wish them well as they continue their careers protecting the community. It is a challenging but essential job that they do to keep the community safe.’
Commissioner Paul Stewart said that work undertaken by QCS as part of Operation Certitude had been some of the most complex in the department’s 170-year history.
“The program of work to transition is of critical importance to QCS and consolidating our correctional environments across the state will increase the safety for our officers, prisoners and the community,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“The amount of work undertaken to do this is incredibly significant and covers areas from physical infrastructure, process, technology and training and touched all areas of the correctional system.
“I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve, and I am confident in the future state of corrective services in Queensland as a result of this significant undertaking.
“I’d also like to thank the local managers at SQCC for working so collaboratively during this transition process,” Commissioner Stewart said.
Minister Ryan said that in addition to the transition of SQCC Stage 1 to public operation, construction work was advancing on SQCC Stage 2.
“SQCC Stage 2 is a more than 1,000 bed prison that will significantly expand capacity in Queensland’s Corrections network.
“It is an exciting time for the Lockyer Valley community and surrounding areas.
“This year’s budget includes a $320 million investment towards construction of what will be a game-changing piece of infrastructure for the Lockyer Valley and surrounds.
“This massive project will support hundreds of construction jobs and will provide close to 500 permanent, full time jobs once the centre is completed at the end of 2023.”