Minister for Corrections Andrew McIntosh today officially opened the Victorian Coalition Government's 54-bed expansion at Dhurringile Prison.
Visiting the prison today, Mr McIntosh said the Coalition Government was delivering on its commitment to provide 500 new prison beds before the end of 2014, saying 108 new beds had come on line in the last month.
"The Coalition Government is taking strong action to increase the capacity of our prison system after 11 shameful years of Labor neglect," Mr McIntosh said.
"These 54 new beds at Dhurringile and the 54 beds at Langi Kal Kal, which opened earlier this month, will help meet the growing demands on Victoria's prison system.
Mr McIntosh said the next stage of development at Dhurringile will include the construction of a visitor centre and a management unit for prisoners who require more secure accommodation. These works are due to be completed by the middle of next year.
The facilities opened today include two 18-bed units, one 12-bed unit, and one six-bed unit.
In addition to increasing Victoria's prison capacity, the Dhurringile expansion has provided a valuable economic boost to the local area.
Mr McIntosh said 70 local tradespeople worked on the project, and 13 new staff jobs have now been created.
The Coalition Government projects at Dhurringile and Langi Kal Kal have been completed on time and on budget, as the first stage of an election promise to build 500 new beds.
The 2012-13 State Budget funded another 395 new beds in existing prisons, and a new 500-bed prison in Ravenhall to deal with projected growth in the prisoner population.