The McGowan Government’s new 160-bed double-storey accommodation unit at the Bunbury Regional Prison is now complete.
The $23.7 million prison expansion also included upgrades to the educational facilities and reception, kitchen and dining areas.
The prison upgrade employed an estimated 847 local people, including an estimated 48 new apprentices and saw 25 South-West contractors involved with the project.
The project was one of the nine State Government Pilot Projects established under the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS).
The WAIPS aims to create local jobs and provide local businesses with opportunities to access WA supply contracts.
The Bunbury Regional Prison expansion is part of the State Government’s $310 million investment in prisons across WA to combat overcrowding.
The first pair of new units for the 512-bed Casuarina Prison Expansion Project – another WAIPS Pilot Project – are expected to be complete by early 2020.
Another two new128-bed units, one which will provide a male alcohol and other drug treatment facility, are expected to be complete by mid-2020.
Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan said the State Government had to act on the “inherited overcrowded prison crisis”.
"This new 160-bed unit at Bunbury Regional Prison not only helps deal with the overcrowded prisons legacy, but it has provided significant employment to local people in the South-West and helped with the development of an estimated 48 apprentices,” he said.
"This project was one of the first under the McGowan Government's Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy to help increase local jobs and local content, and it has been a great success.
"This new unit is just the first part of the McGowan Government's innovative $310 million build project that is bringing 1,228 new beds into Western Australia's prison estate.”