The first stage of the Coalition Government's prison expansion program has been completed, on time and under budget.
Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh today officially opened the 54-bed expansion and new visitor centre at Langi Kal Kal minimum-security prison.
The expansion was announced in last year's budget as part of the Coalition's election commitment to add 500 beds to Victoria's prison system during this term in government.
"The construction of these three 18-bed units and the new visitor centre here at Langi Kal Kal is part of the first stage of the Coalition Government's 2011 commitment to add beds to the Victorian prison system," Mr McIntosh said.
"Another 54 beds are currently being constructed at minimum-security Dhurringile Prison and are scheduled for completion this month."
A second stage of developments at Langi Kal Kal will include the construction of a new medical centre, administration building and prisoner reception building.
Mr McIntosh said the expansions would support the capacity to reduce reoffending by housing prisoner rehabilitation programs and skills training.
"These new facilities will help to maintain a safe environment and will assist prisoners as they prepare to reintegrate into the community by taking place in pre-release and rehabilitation activities," Mr McIntosh said.
The developments at Langi Kal Kal are also providing economic opportunities for the local area.
"This project has and is providing local jobs during the construction phase as well as ongoing staff positions now that the expansion is opening. It is of benefit both to the prison system and the local economy."
To meet the Coalition Government's expansion commitment, another 395 new beds were announced in this year's budget, as well as a new 500 bed prison at Ravenhall.