Government Whip in the Legislative Council

Liberal Member in the Parliament of South Australia



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Labor’s $6 million prison blowout?

Wednesday 19 October, 2011

Labor‟s latest prisons announcement appears to have blown out by $6 million.

Back in 2009, Correctional Services Minister Koutsantonis announced an $18 million expansion of the Mount Gambier Prison for 116 beds.

Mr Koutsantonis has now announced a $23.9 million upgrade of the Mount Gambier Prison for 112 beds.

This is Labor‟s latest cost blowout and the fourth announcement of the expansion of the Mount Gambier Prison.

 3-Mar-2009 (his first day as Minister): $18 million expansion of MGP adding 116 beds
 10-Aug-2010: “Major expansion planned for Mount Gambier” will include about 100 additional beds
 15-Aug-2011: Minister announces that “plans are under way for a 118 bed expansion of the MGP...”
 19-Oct-2011: Minister announces 112 bed, $24 million modular accommodation implementation at MGP

“The Labor Government has blown the chance to build a brand new secure facility at Murray Bridge and is now trying to make up for lost time and lost money,” Mr Stephens said.

“These 'polystyrene prisons' are a not-so-cheap and nasty alternative that nobody is happy about.

“I share the Public Service Association‟s concerns about the safety of our Correctional Services officers.

“Mr Koutsantonis has been announcing this upgrade since he was appointed in March 2009 and what he has delivered is a complete disappointment.

“How can the cost of this project have blown out by almost $6 million when the Minister champions shipping containers as a cheap alternative?

“How can South Australians have confidence in this Government to keep the State's criminals behind bars and its citizens safe? It's just not good enough.”

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