The terms of reference have been finalised for the parliamentary inquiry into the closure and downsizing of NSW prisons – which have had devastating impacts on regional communities in the state.
Shadow minister for regional and rural affairs Mick Veitch successfully moved to establish the parliamentary inquiry into the O’Farrell government’s decisions to close or downsize corrections facilities throughout NSW.
The O’Farrell government has effectively shut down Grafton Gaol since it came to office with the loss of more than 100 jobs. It has also closed Kirkconnell, Berrima and Parramatta prisons.
‘This inquiry will examine the processes used to justify the closure and downsizing of prisons in NSW and whether regional impact statements were carried out,’ Mr Veitch said.
‘The inquiry will also, importantly, look at the impact prison closures have on local communities, workers and their families.
‘Correctional facilities are major employers in regional communities.
‘We have all seen the devastating impact the O’Farrell government’s decision to effectively close Grafton Gaol has had on the local community, with 108 direct job losses.
‘The O’Farrell government has also shut three prisons at Berrima, Parramatta and Kirkconnell.
‘Hundreds of workers, families and the wider communities of Grafton, Berrima, Kirkconnell and Parramatta have all been affected by these cuts.
‘This inquiry will get to the bottom of why these heartless decisions are being made and at what cost.’
Submissions to the inquiry will close on Wednesday 7 November 2012 and hearing and site visits will commence after that date.
The complete terms of reference for the inquiry can be found on the NSW Parliament website at: