Northern Correctional Facility Project Update
One of the four strategic goals identified in the recently released Department of Justice’s Strategic Plan 2022-2027 is to improve access to justice through the provision of contemporary infrastructure. Modern well designed correctional infrastructure is critical to deliver targeted rehabilitation and reintegration programs and processes that improve lives and reduce harm for sentenced offenders within the Tasmanian corrections system.
To support this plan, the Tasmanian Government has committed to build a new, purpose-built Northern Correctional Facility (NCF) which will optimise the operation of our state’s corrective service and support strong rehabilitative outcomes for people who come into contact with the state’s corrections system.
To ensure the NCF’s primary focus on rehabilitation and reintegration for minimum and medium rated offenders, the Government is also investing in additional maximum security facilities at the Risdon Prison Complex in southern Tasmania. This includes $50 million for the development of a new maximum security unit within the existing Risdon Prison Complex, which will also help alleviate current bed pressures for maximum rated offenders.
Following consultation with the Meander Valley community earlier this year, and given what is currently understood about the Ashley Youth Detention Centre (AYDC) site in terms of its suitability for a correctional facility and the impending closure of the existing facility, the Government has determined that it is the best site for the development of this project.
Due Diligence Assessments
The Department of Justice (DoJ), through its dedicated NCF Project Team, continues to progress the due diligence investigations required as part of the normal statutory planning process for the development of this important project at the AYDC site. As part of this, the Project Team is working with independent consultants to finalise the following reports:
- Aboriginal and Historic (European) Heritage assessment
- Natural Values Assessment
- Bushfire Hazard Assessment
- Traffic Impact Assessment
- Social Impact Assessment.
- Economic Impact Assessment
These assessments and reports will help inform the development of a Request for Tender (RFT) for architectural design services that the DoJ expects to release in 2023 and the Development Application that will be submitted to the Meander Valley Council.
Specialist Consultants Appointed
Responding to the community’s request that a new Social Impact Assessment (SIA) be prepared as part of due diligence investigations, the Department of Justice has engaged social planning consultants Andrea Young Planning Consultants and BBC Consulting Planners to prepare an independent SIA. Over the coming months the consultants will investigate the issues raised by the community and recommend ways to reduce or avoid any negative impacts and strengthen the positive impacts.
Building on the comprehensive public consultation already undertaken, the specialist consultants will engage with key stakeholders (e.g. local community services, business and industry), including near neighbours of the AYDC site to further understand the social impacts that this development will potentially have on the region. An important outcome of this work will be to identify how any identified impacts can be mitigated through the development of the facility’s design and operating model. The work will be undertaken in a series of stages with the first stage consisting of the scoping of potential impacts that require further assessment, and an engagement strategy with impacted stakeholders.
In addition to the SIA, a new Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) has also been commissioned. The Project Team has appointed Deloitte Access Economics as the consultants that will undertake the EIA. The purpose of the EIA will be to model the economic impact of the NCF project on the AYDC site in the region. Importantly it will examine the impact on Gross Regional Product (GRP), employment, and industry impacts.
The Project Team is committed to providing regular updates and information regarding the progress of the project to all interested parties. This will include making any reports from the due diligence investigations available at the earliest opportunity. It is anticipated the SIA (Stage 1) and EIA reports will be completed in early 2023 and reports on Natural Values and Bushfire Hazard assessments are expected to be finalised and publicly available by the end of this year.
Tasmania currently has its main correctional facilities in the south of the State despite over half of the current offender population originating from the north or north-west of Tasmania.
A new, modern, purpose-built NCF will support successful rehabilitation and reintegration through training and education opportunities, and by maintaining better connections to family and support networks in the north.
This will also create a state-wide Corrections system operated by the Tasmania Prison Service.
With a key focus on rehabilitation, education and reintegration, the NCF will predominantly accommodate sentenced offenders who are progressing through their sentences and starting to prepare for reintegration into the community. It will also include a dedicated area to accommodate remandees who have been detained in custody pending their court appearances.
This important project will ensure the Tasmania Prison Service has modern, secure, fit for purpose facilities that allow for a strong focus on rehabilitation, and that is why the Tasmanian Government is investing $270 million in the project. It is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction with flow-on benefits to the Tasmanian community. Once the new correctional facility is operational, it will continue to support the local economy by creating employment opportunities for a range of correctional and support staff, and through the use of local contractors and suppliers, wherever possible.
As the NCF will predominantly accommodate sentenced offenders who are progressing through their sentences and starting to prepare for reintegration into the community, the Government is also investing $50 million to build a new maximum security unit within the existing Risdon Prison Complex in southern Tasmania, to help alleviate current bed pressures for maximum security rated offenders.
Publication of Submissions
Submissions and a summary of the feedback collected from the community consultation conducted earlier this year have been published and can be accessed via the links below.
The report on the community consultation process can be accessed on the NCF webpage (PDF, 308.3 KB).
The submissions received from the community consultation process can also be accessed on the Department’s Have Your Say webpage.
All written submissions received were published in line with the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our FAQ's page for more information about the new Northern Correctional Facility.
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