In a landmark day for the Tasmania Prison Service and our prison infrastructure, I was immensely proud to officially open the new 156 bed Southern Remand Centre today on the Risdon Prison site, fulfilling a significant election commitment.

This is the State’s first facility designed specifically for people held on remand which will allow them to be housed separately from sentenced offenders, in line with best practice operational guidelines.

The Southern Remand Centre will ensure the Tasmania Prison Service has modern, fit for purpose correctional facilities that not only provide secure accommodation and facilities for offenders, remandees and staff, but also allows for a strong focus on rehabilitation.

This is part of our significant investment of more than $415 million for major prison infrastructure projects, which also includes the Northern Correctional Facility, and a new maximum-security unit and new facilities within the Risdon Prison Complex.

Importantly, both the physical environment and the operating model of the remand centre support my strong focus on rehabilitation, providing a therapeutic and rehabilitative space whilst maintaining the strict security and safety requirements essential to a modern correctional facility.

Remandees will also have access to dedicated health, legal and welfare services, work, education, programs, recreational activities, religious observance, and other relevant activities and services.

With the Southern Remand Centre now open, it will begin to receive remandees in a staged approach in the coming weeks – easing pressure across other prison facilities.

I wish to especially thank Hansen Yuncken for managing the project and for continuing operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting around 130 local jobs and our economy.

The Southern Remand Centre sets a new benchmark for the State’s correctional infrastructure, and I would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the design, construction and commissioning of this facility, including sub-contractors and our correctional staff who provided valuable input throughout the project.

As Minister for Corrections and Rehabilitation, I am very proud to now be delivering these new modern facilities.

I look forward to seeing the positive flow-on effects that will come from our Government’s significant investment.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General and Minister for Corrections and Rehabilitation