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23 May 2019

Elise Archer MP

Minister for Corrections

2019-20 Budget: Strengthen the Tasmania Prison Service

The 2019-20 State Budget’s record infrastructure spend includes major investments in new prison infrastructure as part of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s Plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

Included in the Budget is funding for the first stages of the 270 bed, $270 million new Northern Prison, and the new $70 million Southern Remand Centre at the Risdon Prison site. A total of $9.3 million has also been allocated to upgrade shared facilities at the Risdon Prison to meet increased service demands, including upgrading the gatehouse, medical centre, prisoner processing area, visitor area and a new kitchen.

These projects will not only meet future capacity needs within the Tasmania Prison Service, but it will maintain the momentum and create new jobs in our building and construction sector.

The expression of interest process to determine a site for the new Northern Prison has now been successfully completed, with the identified sites being assessed for suitability and short-listed. This year’s Budget funds the first four years of work on the project. An announcement on the final location is anticipated in coming months, once the due diligence process is complete.

Significant work on the Southern Remand Centre is already underway and the project is fully funded within this year’s Budget. It is expected to be complete in 2021.

The budget also includes $16.8 million in new funding for Corrections for a range of initiatives and to ensure the TPS can cater for demand and continue to recruit new Correctional Officers in addition to the 107 already employed by our Government since 2016.

While we make no apologies for being tough on serious crime, we want offenders to get their lives back on track and become productive, law-abiding members of society who no longer pose a threat to their victims or community safety.