Scot MacDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter
5th July 2017
On Tuesday I paid a short visit to the Cessnock Correctional Centre. I had a longer visit and inspection through the Centre last month.
I dropped by the Centre following the State Budget.
In the Budget, the NSW Liberal National Government announced a further $287 million of capital works to be spent in 2017/18 at the Cessnock Correctional Centre. It is one of the largest Budget items in the Hunter.
When I was at the Centre, I was asked how will the money be spent. This coming financial year $49.6 million will go towards the Minimum Security upgrade; $135.6 million on Maximum Security and $101.7 million for the Hunter (Cessnock) Rapid Build Prison.
There is no question the Correctional Centre is impressive and a significant asset to the region and this Government will continue to back it and its professional staff. There will be further allocations for infrastructure in future Budgets. The Government is able to substantially invest in the Cessnock Correctional Centre because of six years of financial reform. I often read criticisms of the reform by the local Labor MP and he consistently votes against our economic agenda even as Cessnock picks up some of the dividends. The State Budget is in surplus and now has zero net debt. The greatest threat to future investment in Cessnock is a return to a Labor government.