Department of Corrective Services Goulburn Office
|About this Item||Subjects||Government Contracts; Prisons and Prisoners; Public Service: New South Wales; Government Department: New South Wales: Corrective Services
||Speakers||Tsang The Hon Henry; Kelly The Hon Tony
||Business||Questions Without Notice
The Hon. HENRY TSANG: My question without notice is addressed to the Minister for Justice. Will the Minister update the House on the new Department of Corrective Services office in Goulburn?
The Hon. TONY KELLY: Last Thursday I had the pleasure of opening the new enlarged premises for the south-west regional office of the Department of Corrective Services in Goulburn. The Department of Corrective Services, which is a large department spread across New South Wales, supports decentralisation. Its new home in Goulburn is evidence of that. In fact, once completed early next month, it will be the second largest headquarters of the department outside its head office in Sydney. The building has housed the south-west region headquarters for some time. Now the south-west regional office is the sole occupant of the building, cementing its place as a major Goulburn employer. The department, together with Goulburn gaol, is now the second largest employer in Goulburn. The total project value is $3 million. It comprises the south-west region custodial administration facility, the south-west region Community Offender Services administration facility, the local COS district office and the Department of Corrective Services human resources state-wide payroll function facility. More importantly, the complex will accommodate up to 104 staff, including an additional 50 staff members. This is a major project demonstrating the complex's importance to both the State Government and the Goulburn Mulwaree Council.
During my visit I also had the opportunity to visit Goulburn Gaol, where I inspected the new video conferencing studio at the High Risk Management Unit [HRMU] or, as it is known, "Supermax". The movement of inmates for court appearances or for any other reason is inherently dangerous and precautions must always be taken. The Supermax accommodates some of the most serious offenders in New South Wales and, in fact, in Australia. These offenders are required to be escorted by up to four officers for court appearances. This includes escorts into the main correctional centre at Goulburn, which has a video conferencing studio for court appearances. The newly completed video conferencing studio at the Supermax continues the department's roll-out across New South Wales. Its aim is to minimise escorted movements of inmates to and from our courts and it does this in association with the New South Wales Attorney General's Department. During the 2004-05 financial year, more than 16,000 inmates appeared in court via video conferencing. That is 16,000 inmates who did not need to be taken outside the prison complex. This figure equates to approximately 34,460 inmate court movements avoided at an estimated saving of $2.9 million.
Finally, I had the pleasure of announcing the new visitor pre-processing facility to be constructed at the front of Goulburn Correctional Centre. The contract has been awarded to the Wollongong firm that successfully completed the HRMU and the video conferencing studio. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by August 2006. The new facility will provide additional screening of visitors entering the correctional facility. This is all part of an ongoing statewide government initiative to reduce the risk of contraband entering New South Wales correctional centres. It will also reduce congestion at the main gate, enabling more efficient visitor and staff entry into the correctional centre.