The Department of Justice (DoJ) completed a Strategic Asset review, which was approved by the Government in 1997. The review identified the major shortcomings of the existing prison facilities in Tasmania and outlined strategies to address them.
The Department also made submissions to the Legislative Council Select Committee on Correctional Services and Sentencing in Tasmania in 1998 and 1999, in relation to custodial services operational issues and the inadequacy of the existing prison facilities in Tasmania.
As part of implementing the strategies identified in the Strategic Asset Management Plan, and responding to the matters identified by the Select Committee in its Report, the Department made a submission through the 2000/2001 Government budget process for the inclusion of the redevelopment of the Tasmanian prison system infrastructure on the State Government's Capital Investment Program (CIP). This work has since been described as Stage A of the PIRP.
As an outcome of this submission, the Government allocated funds in the 2000/2001 budget to proceed with Stage B of the PIRP.
Stage B involved the development of a Business Case, which addressed the following options:
Size and location
- A new facility in the North, redevelopment of Risdon Prison and retention of the Hobart Remand Centre; or
- One new major facility [or redevelopment of Risdon] and retention of the Hobart Remand Centre.
- Operation of one or more facilities by the private sector; or
- Operation of all facilities by the private sector; or
- No private sector involvement in the operation of prisons.
- Development of new facilities or redevelopment to be achieved through a lease back arrangement with the private sector; or
- Public financing through the Capital Investment Program.
Following detailed analysis, a Business Case was developed and submitted to Government through the 2001/2002 budget process.
The Government decided to proceed with an initial stage to redevelop Risdon Prison, as the first building stage of the PIRP (Stage C), using Government funding.
The future of the remainder of the Tasmanian prison system will be considered in the next stage of the PIRP, Stage D (refer below).
The Stage C project comprises:
Pre-construction (May 2001 - October 2003)
- site investigations, design & documentation of Stage C works
- initial design of possible Stage D works at Risdon
- Parliamentary & planning authority approvals
- tender processes
Construction (November 2003 - October 2006)
- secure mental health unit (SMHU)
- womens prison
- maximum security cell blocks
- medium security units
- protection facilities
- needs assessment and crisis support facilities
- reception/release facility
- visits facility
- health centre
- perimeter fence & main gate
- Part 1 of education facility
- Part 1 of workshops
Stage C of the Program does not provide for redevelopment of all prison facilities, however the planning and preliminary design phase of the Stage C project has taken into account the full redevelopment of the Risdon site to include the following:
The remaining facilities required for the Risdon site, plus redevelopment of statewide minimum security and remand facilities will be addressed as part of a future stage of the PIRP, Stage D.
The future of Hayes Prison Farm and the Launceston Remand Centre will be considered as part of this planning and these facilities will continue to operate in the interim.
A submission regarding Stage D will be put to the Government prior to the completion of Stage C.