Hon Murray Cowper MLA

Hon Murray Cowper MLA

Former Minister for Training and Workforce Development; Corrective Services

     Broome prison to remain open for three years

    22/08/2012 12:00 AM
    • Broome prison to house people smugglers and defendants on local remand
    • Three-year plan allows for smooth transition to new facility
    Broome Regional Prison (BRP) will remain a working prison for three years before the ageing facility is closed, Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper announced today.

    With the opening of the 150-bed West Kimberley Regional Prison in Derby scheduled for November this year, the future of BRP had been under review.

    “The State Government has decided the prison will remain working in the short to medium term, to allow for a smooth transition to the new Derby facility,” Mr Cowper said while in Broome this morning.

    “BRP will become a facility which will primarily house Indonesian national prisoners sentenced by the Federal Government.

    “It will also have a short-term remand capacity to service the Broome Court, as well as be used to manage transfers and services for local offenders.

    “As of Monday there were 108 Indonesian nationals in Western Australian prisons. Most of these prisoners have been convicted or charged with people smuggling offences.

    “The Department of Corrective Services endeavours to place this cohort together, but at the moment Albany Regional Prison, Pardelup Prison Farm and Hakea Prison are housing the majority.  Keeping Indonesian prisoners together assists in maximising opportunities to provide the services required to meet their cultural requirements, provide adequate peer support and will give the State opportunities to reduce costs.

    “The move to BRP for this particular cohort will mean easier delivery of services such as interpreters, cultural and ethnic considerations and staff training.  It makes good sense.”

    The Minister said the decision would give staff and the Department of Corrective Services some lead time to plan for the future. 

    Arrangements and necessary preparation will now commence in regards to staff and services for the new functions of the BRP while current prisoners are gradually moved to the new West Kimberley Regional Prison. 

          Fact File
    • Broome Regional Prison opened in 1894
    • Caters for maximum, medium and minimum security prisoners from the Kimberley
    • BRP currently houses 11 Indonesian prisoners
    Minister's office - 6552 5700