Asylum centre plan under fire
IPSWICH’S Borallon Correctional Facility should be used to give criminals longer jail sentences and not house asylum seekers, according to an Ipswich LNP political candidate.
The State Government yesterday said that crime rates “have reduced significantly” in recent years – so much so that the growth in prisoner numbers has not matched predictions made when the upcoming Gatton jail was first planned.
Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said that allowed the State Government to have more flexibility with its prisons.
This includes preliminary talks with the Federal Government to use Borallon jail as an immigration detention centre, as reported in yesterday’s The Queensland Times.
The move has angered Ipswich LNP candidate Sean Choat, who will contest the seat of Ipswich West which encompasses the jail, at the next state election.
Mr Choat said the Ipswich community would rather see criminals serve tougher and longer sentences at Borallon jail than have it used as a detention centre.
“The maximum sentence for pedophiles as I understand it is 10 years, but the average in this state is 1.3 years,” he said.
“If there is enough space at Borallon for a detention centre, why not use it to lock up these offenders for another eight years, or other criminals?”
Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said only preliminary talks had been held in regards to the Borallon site becoming an immigration centre, but no commitments or undertakings had been given.
“Crime rates have reduced significantly in Queensland in recent years, therefore the growth in prison numbers has not been as high as originally predicted when planning commenced for the new South Queensland Correctional Centre at Gatton,” he said.
“Bringing that centre online will give Queensland Corrective Services more flexibility in the way it manages prison capacity across the network of correctional centres in Queensland in the years ahead.”
An online poll on the QT website found that 85% of respondents were against an immigration detention centre being established in Ipswich.
Residents who live near the Borallon jail had mixed opinions.