ACT Jail Too Expensive: NSW Labor

The Sydney Morning Herald
January 22, 2007 - 9:07PM

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

The ACT's planned jail will cost twice as much to build but is only half the size of a new NSW jail, a NSW Labor politician says. The ACT's first full-scale prison will be open plan, environmentally friendly and promote healthy living, with a campus-style design incorporating a range of accommodation types.

The 300-bed jail will house low-risk prisoners in cottage style accommodation and high-risk inmates in maximum security cells.

Labor MP Steve Whan accused the ACT Labor government of spending too much money on the project, which he said would cost $129 million to build and $20 million a year to run.

"The ACT actually looks like it will spend twice as much building a jail that is only half the size of a similar facility being built by the NSW government in Wellington," Mr Whan said in a statement.

Using NSW jails costs the ACT $8.2 million a year, compared with the $4 million to $5 million it would lose every year by running its own facility, he said. "ACT ratepayers really need to question the value for money they are getting from an outrageously expensive prison that they don't need," he said.

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell was unavailable for comment.


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