The Andrews Labor Government will build a 20-bed secure facility to house Victoria’s most serious adult offenders with Ararat announced as the preferred location.
The facility, to be located next to Hopkins Correctional Centre, will accommodate sex offenders and violent offenders who are not yet suitable to be released into the community after they complete their sentence.
The facility is part of the Labor Government’s response to the landmark Harper Report into the post-sentence management of serious offenders, which was released last year.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney visited Ararat this morning, where she met with the Ararat Rural City Council, Victoria Police and members of the community who have been consulted on the decision.
A new community advisory group, which will include members of the local council and community, Corrections Victoria and Victoria Police will also be set up to spearhead consultation with the local community.
The purpose-built site will be a step-up up from Corella Place, also located at Hopkins, featuring a secure perimeter and a multi-disciplinary team of staff who will maintain a safe environment.
As recommended by the Harper Review, the courts will determine which offenders are placed at the facility, and the Government will expand the post-sentence scheme to include violent offenders.
Legislation to support the reforms will be introduced into Parliament before the new site is operational. The Harper Review was undertaken in response to the tragic murder of 17-year-old Masa Vukotic.
It builds on significant action taken in the last two years to toughen the law to provide stronger oversight and management of serious offenders, including:
- a specialist response unit, with senior Corrections Victoria staff, Victoria Police detectives and intelligence analysts
- expanded accommodation for serious sex offenders, with a new facility set up within the Langi Kal Kal prison precinct
- changes to bail laws, so there is a presumption that offenders on the post-sentence scheme who are charged with an indictable offence won’t get bail
- expanding supervision orders for serious sex offenders to prohibit violent acts
Up to 100 jobs will be created during construction, which will begin in the second half of the year. A further 50 jobs will be created when the secure facility open by the end of 2018.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“We promised to fix the system and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
“This new purpose-built, secure facility will house 20 of the state’s most serious offenders, keeping the community safe, monitoring serious offenders and breaking the cycle of reoffending.”
“This is an important part of our response to the Harper Review, and we’re working day after day to implement the recommendations.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020