GALLERY: Drone captures timelapse of prison expansion
THE first building in the $241 million Capricornia Correctional Centre expansion was officially opened yesterday north of Rockhampton.
On hand for the opening of 'X8 block' was Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan, Deputy Commissioner James Koulouris, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke.
The X8 block is a services building that is part of the ongoing Capricornia Correctional Centre expansion and is the first of 13 buildings that are part of the expansion.
"X8 block will house state-of-the-art plant services to support the upgraded and expanded facilities at the centre," Mr Koulouris said.
"This building is crucial to the delivery of services for the upcoming secure and residential buildings that are still under construction.
"The expansion almost doubles the capacity of the centre, and the remaining construction work, will be progressively commissioned over the next 18 months."
The completion of X8 block comes only 16 months after Mr Ryan turned the sod on the works at the centre in June 2018, along with Mr O'Rourke and Ms Lauga.
"The expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre is a part of the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to adding capacity in Queensland's prison system and ensuring the safety of our officers and community," Mr O'Rourke said.
The Member for Keppel said with the first operational cell blocks set to come online in 2020, recruitment was a top priority for the centre.
"The centre is looking to fill over 200 new jobs with a range of roles available and people from all walks of life are encouraged to apply," Ms Lauga said.
Mr Ryan said the high-security centre currently includes 410 cells and 547 beds but will expand to 758 cells and 945 beds once expansion works are completed.
The 2019 State Budget also included operational funding to employ an additional 232 staff to operate the expanded centre.
"The majority of these positions will be custodial officers, but QCS is also recruiting education officers, cultural liaison officers, counsellors, psychologists, and program delivery officers," he said.
"These officers will contribute to the Government's vision for a correctional system that is efficient and effective and help to prevent crime.
"Officers also offer support to victims and the vulnerable as well reducing reoffending behaviour, so you really are on the front-line and serving your community.
"Once the Capricornia Correctional Centre expansion and Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (Stage 2) are completed, the Palaszczuk Government will have added 4000 beds to Correctional facilities across the state."
Mr Koulouris praised the work of Corrective Services officers and also encouraged applicants to take a look inside to see if they were up to the challenge of a career in corrections.
"Our dedicated officers drive behavioural change in prisoners, protect the community and change lives," Mr Koulouris said.
"We're looking for passionate people from all walks of life that are driven and want to help us to prevent crime and keep Queenslanders safe."
For more information, visit https://corrections.qld.gov.au/careers/.
Queensland Government positions are advertised on SmartJobs.qld.gov.au.