Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today attended the opening of a 480 bed Maximum Security wing at the Junee Correctional Centre. The expansion was part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion investment in safer communities.
Ms Cooke said the construction project had already made a positive contribution to the Junee economy.
“At the peak of construction there were between 250-300 tradies working hard on site to ensure the new prison wing was on time and on budget. During that time, they were shopping, eating and staying locally,” Ms Cooke said.
Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts and Corrective Services NSW Assistant Commissioner Carlo Scasserra attended the ceremonial prison-keys handover with General Manager Scott Brideoake.
“Junee prison is one of the biggest employers in the Riverina and its expansion has led to an additional 130 ongoing jobs in the area and a continuing investment in the region,” Mr Roberts said.
“The new modern prison wing will enhance the prison’s strong reputation in reducing reoffending through improved inmate access to education, programs and training.”
The expanded centre will utilise state-of-the-art security intelligence systems to ensure the safety of the community, staff and inmates. These features include:
- A new central control room;
- Sterile zone between the two perimeter fences;
- Perimeter cameras with enhanced thermal imaging and visual motion detection to improve detection and accuracy; and
- New audio-visual infrastructure for family and legal visits, and court appearances.
Mr Brideoake of the GEO Group Australia, which operates the centre, said the expansion project included many benefits for the prison’s staff and inmates.
“We welcome the refurbishment and expansion of our gatehouse, health centre, inmate reception and administration building to make a better workplace,” Mr Brideoake said.
Work will continue into next year, with the refurbishing of support areas within the existing centre and construction of a new 10-bed female unit.