Media Release

07 November 2018

Guy: A bigger jail facility at Lara

Wednesday 7 November 2018

A bigger jail facility at Lara

A Liberal Nationals Government will build a new 1,300 bed prison facility at Lara with sections for maximum security, medium security as well as a remand centre.

This jail will be almost double the size of the one proposed by Labor.

Daniel Andrews has lost control of violent crimes in Victoria.

Under Daniel Andrews, aggravated burglaries are up 43%, common assaults are up 38% and attempted murder is up 47%. Too many of these violent criminals get a slap on the wrist and are soon back out in the community again, hurting or killing innocent Victorians.

That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will get back in control of violent crime by introducing mandatory minimum jail sentences for repeat violent offenders.

Daniel Andrews and Labor don’t support mandatory minimum jail sentences. They believe the current system is working fine.  We don’t agree.

Under a Liberal Nationals Government, jail will mean jail. We believe violent re-offenders should be locked up in jail where they can’t hurt innocent Victorians.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will build a bigger jail facility at Lara to accommodate those violent criminals that are not deterred by tougher jail sentences.

We will reallocate Labor’s $689.5 million proposal for a 700 bed prison to a PPP build for a 1,300 bed prison consisting of 700 maximum-security, 300 medium-security and 300 for a remand facility.

The crisis in corrections and the justice system is largely reflected in the dramatic increase in the number of prisoners unsentenced or on remand.

The number of prisoners on remand has increased under the Andrews Labor Government by 1,473 to nearly 3,000 – an increase of around 100%. Over the same period, the percentage of total prisoners on remand has increased from 22% to 36.3%.

Construction is expected to start on the current proposed site in 2019/20 and completed late 2022 with a 6 month testing and commissioning period.  Under that timeline, operations would commence in July 2023. This project will create hundreds of jobs both in construction and operation.

We also propose that the new Lara Prison will be a hub for alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs and have a larger medical centre to service the Lara Prison Precinct, to take pressure from the current medical unit at the Port Phillip Prison.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also provide an onsite Magistrate at the Lara Prison Precinct to address the increasing problem of prisoners failing to appear for court often because they refuse to board transport.

In 2016, Corrections Victoria failed to bring 229 prisoners to court, up 76% from 130 the year before. Figures reveal the failure to present prisoners to court has cost Victorian taxpayers more than $400,000 since 2015.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Liberal Party, Matthew Guy:

“Daniel Andrews has lost control of violent crime in Victoria.

Under the Liberal Nationals mandatory minimum jail sentences, 15 years jail will mean 15 years jail. There won’t be any discounts for so called good behaviour.

If that means building bigger prisons to keep innocent Victorians safe than that is money well spent.

Only a Liberal Nationals Government will get back in control of violent crime with mandatory minimum jail sentences where jail means jail.

At this election Victorians will have a clear choice on crime. Victorians can choose more of the same failed law and order policies of Daniel Andrews and Labor or they can choose to get back in control of violent crime by choosing a Liberal Nationals Government.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections, Edward O’Donohue:

“This jail will be almost double the size of Labor’s proposal because unlike Daniel Andrews, we believe the best place for repeat violent criminals is in jail for at least 10 years.

Daniel Andrews and Labor are always making excuses for violent crime. That’s why Labor opposes tough mandatory minimum jail sentences.

The Liberal Nationals have a simple solution to stop reoffending violent criminals from hurting innocent Victorians and that’s to lock them up for a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

A new dedicated remand centre will also free-up police who are currently baby-sitting prisoners instead of being on our streets and suburbs helping keep Victorians safe.”