Labor delay to cost Queenslanders jobs and money

The decision by Labor’s bungling Police Minister Jo-ann Miller to delay the opening of the Borallon Correctional Centre until 2016 will cost Queenslanders jobs and money.

Shadow Minister for Police, Fire, Emergency Services and Corrective Services Jarrod Bleijie, said around 270 Queenslanders would now have to look elsewhere for work promised this month under the former LNP Government.

The Labor Government has today announced it had given the green light to recommission Borallon as a publicly-run prison from early next year to accommodate 492 male prisoners.

“The LNP had already paid for and announced the recommissioning of Borallon and the facility was due to open mid 2015 after an extensive tender process,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Labor’s decision to have a publicly run jail means it now has to recruit workers, a process that could take more than six months while a fully functional facility sits idle.

“This is another example of Labor over spending and under delivering and another bungled decision from a Minister who limps from one crisis to another and is clearly not up to the job.

“What makes it worse is the Borallon facility is in Minister Miller’s backyard, proving once again she has no problem selling out her own community.”

Mr Bleijie scoffed at suggestions Labor was putting an end to “the LNP’s sneaky plan to privatise our prison system.”

“It’s a bit rich for the Minister to criticise the LNP for sneaky privatisation plans considering it was Labor that opened Queensland’s only two privately run prisons.

“Additionally our plan was so “sneaky’ that it was announced as part of the 2014 budget as the work was being undertaken,” Mr Bleijie said.

“This is a Minister who tries to score cheap political points with no regard for the incompetent decisions made on the run that continues to affect the lives of Queenslanders.

“I was out at Borallon last month and the facility was only weeks from being complete.

“The LNP understood prison was about protecting the community as well as punishing criminals and our plan included $61 million to recommission, refurbish and expand existing correctional centres to provide an additional 650 beds across Queensland.

“Under Labor taxpayers will have to pay an additional $92.4 million to provide 168 less beds.

“This decision by a Labor government that claims it has a jobs platform, means 270 workers that could have taken a pay cheque home to their families this month will now have to wait until 2016.”

[ENDS] 8 July 2015

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