CORRECTIONS Minister Edward O'Donohue officially opened a 126-bed expansion at minimum-security Langi Kal Kal Prison during a tour of the region last week.
Visiting Langi Kal Kal Prison and Hopkins Correctional Centre, Mr O'Donohue said the Victorian Coalition Government is delivering the largest ever expansion of Victoria's prison system to support a safer community.
He said the significant expansion of Langi Kal Kal prison has created an additional 66 prison-based jobs around Ararat and Ballarat and has boosted the prison's capacity to 477.
"These new beds at Langi Kal Kal will continue to support a safer community, with the Napthine Government's prison expansion program delivering hundreds more beds before the end of the year," Mr O'Donohue said.
"As a minimum security open camp prison, Langi Kal Kal provides prisoners with an opportunity to contribute to the community and gain new skills as they pay off their debts to society.
"The expansion across the system is addressing the former Labor government's shameful record of neglect.
While in the region, Mr O'Donohue also toured Ararat's Hopkins Correctional Centre and inspected work on the prison's 350-bed expansion.
"With these new beds, the Coalition Government's expansion program has seen almost 1,500 prison beds open since the start of 2011, with more than 2,600 in the pipeline, including the new 1,000-bed medium security prison in Melbourne's west," Mr O'Donohue said.
"This investment in Victoria's prison system is not only supporting a safer community, it is creating an estimated 1,477 full-time ongoing operational jobs and up to 2,780 construction jobs.
"More than 300 prison officers have completed service training and graduated this year with recruitment continuing across Victoria to support the expansion of the system."