The Coalition Government will build a new 500 bed prison to relieve the enormous and growing pressure on places in Victoria's prison system as part of a record investment in state infrastructure spending in the 2012-13 Budget.
In addition, existing prisons will be expanded, providing desperately needed extra capacity while the new prison is being built.
The total capital commitment is $670 million, as well as more than $149 million over four years in associated output funding.
The commitment will see a new medium security prison built on existing Corrections Victoria land at Ravenhall, in Melbourne's west, subject to necessary approvals. The prison expansion program will see 395 beds added to existing facilities.
Building a new prison and adding 395 beds to existing prisons will create an estimated 800 construction jobs and 580 ongoing staff jobs. This is on top of the 1,000 jobs already being provided through prison projects underway around the state.
Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh said Labor knew for many years about the need for a new prison.
"When times were good, Labor squandered billions on failed and mismanaged projects instead of doing the basics, like making sure Victoria had enough prison places to meet demand," Mr McIntosh said.
"This Budget sets out a clear plan to meet our challenges. We are taking a responsible and necessary approach to rebuild our state and we will not be defined by the challenges we face, but by the collective action we take to address them."
The prison expansion is a key element of the infrastructure spending in the 2012-13 Victorian Budget.
Mr McIntosh said a key Coalition election promise was the delivery of 500 new beds across the Victorian prison system, and following the funding of 108 beds in last year's Budget this announcement of 395 additional beds now met that commitment.
"What we did not know was that due to years of Labor neglect and quick fixes, a new male prison was desperately needed to meet demand on population growth alone. With this asset injection, the Coalition Government is turning the tide on years of neglect and mismanagement by Labor," Mr McIntosh said.
Mr McIntosh also confirmed the new prison would be delivered as a public-private partnership, with the private sector responsible for design, construction, maintenance and operation. This will ensure the prison is built and run in a way that delivers the best value for money for Victoria. The Government intends the 500 bed prison to be built on a larger footprint to facilitate future expansion, when required.
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