- Site works have begun for new 160-bed unit to ease WA's prison overcrowding
- Bunbury-based builder undertaking forward works
- Further upgrades to prison include reception and educational facilities
- $500,000 refurbishment of closed unit adding another 37 beds
The McGowan Labor Government has taken another step forward in addressing the inherited overcrowded prisons crisis.
Site works, by Bunbury-based builder Perkins WA, have begun at Bunbury Regional Prison, which will pave the way for a new 160-bed double-storey accommodation unit.
The new unit is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and will help with prisoner growth in regional Western Australia.
It is part of a $23.7 million package to the prison that includes upgrades to the reception and educational facilities as well as the kitchen and a dining room.
It is expected that up to 70 per cent of the budgeted amount will be spent with local contractors, as part of the McGowan Labor Government's commitment to local jobs and local content where possible.
The new Bunbury unit is one of five new units that will be built on existing prison footprints.
Four new units will be constructed at Casuarina Prison, adding 512 beds to the prison estate to further ease the pressure on the State's jails.
The five new units and the extra beds that have already been added to existing cells throughout WA jails, will result in nearly 900 new beds expected by the end of 2019.
Also announced today was the refurbishment of a previously closed accommodation unit at Bunbury Regional Prison that will add an immediate 37 beds to the prison.
The $500,000 of refurbishment works have brought the unit back on-line after it was left empty under the previous Liberal National Government when prisoner numbers were increasing at a record growth.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"We took steps immediately on being elected to try to find a smart and efficient way of dealing with the prison overcrowding crisis we inherited from the previous government.
"So I am very pleased to see actual works begin on the construction of a new unit at Bunbury Regional Prison that will make a significant difference to prisoner numbers in regional WA.
"It is by using the existing prison footprints and adding new units that we can bring new beds on-line in nearly a third of the time of a new prison, and for a fraction of the cost.
"We are not just putting more prisoners in without improving the infrastructure, and as part of the $23.7 million package there will be much-needed upgrades to the reception and educational facilities as well as the kitchen and a dining room."
Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
"This expansion of the Bunbury Regional Prison is an example of the McGowan Government being true to its promise to prioritise local jobs and local content, and I am proud to be part of honouring that commitment.
"Every time there is a major new project it creates new opportunities for training and apprenticeships, and it is these opportunities that will contribute to the long-term economic growth of our community.
"The refurbishment of the closed accommodation unit demonstrates our commitment to finding cost-effective, timely solutions to problems and I commend all involved with the project for achieving this outcome."
Minister's office - 6552 6300