The Department of Justice and Community Safety is examining a number of options to manage the ongoing growth of the prison population in Victoria, which has increased by approximately 50 per cent over the last five years.
On Tuesday 24 April 2018, the Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney announced the Victorian Government will provide $689.5 million in the 2018 – 19 State Budget for the Lara Prison Precinct project to meet future demands on the state’s prison system.
The new maximum security prison will include at least 700 beds, and will be built in the outer-Geelong suburb of Lara, in the vicinity of the existing Lara Prison Precinct which includes Barwon Prison and Marngoneet Correctional Centre.
The planned expansion will create thousands of construction jobs, and when fully operational, the prison will also bring hundreds of ongoing jobs to the area, including prison officers, psychologists, teachers, administration and maintenance staff, and allied health professionals.
Land will be purchased for the facility in the coming months and construction is set to commence in early 2019 with completion scheduled for 2022.
A Community Advisory Group, featuring representatives from the City of Greater Geelong as well as members of the local community, will be established, to ensure local input throughout the planning and development stages.
Providing a new maximum security prison is an essential part of the government’s commitment to improving community safety, and for the predicted increases in Victoria’s prison population, largely driven by changes to the parole system, sentencing reforms, tougher bail conditions and population growth.
For updates on the project visit engage.vic.gov.au/laraprison