Prison expansion will increase Rocky crime: Doblo
FORMER mayoral candidate Dominic Doblo believes the proposed prison expansion will lead to an increase in crime in the Rockhampton community.
Last week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a $200 million expansion to the Capricornia Correctional Centre to provide an extra 164 cells.
Mr Doblo, 57, is concerned more of the wrong sort of people will be attracted to the community because of this prison expansion.
"After they expand the prison and they put someone out there, their family moves here so they can go and visit them,” he said.
"When they get let out, 90 per cent of the time, they're going to make their home in Rockhampton because the family is here and they've got nowhere to go.
"So what we've got here is a family who don't work, they're on social security and there's no future for the long term economic sustainability of Rockhampton.”
Mr Doblo cited the Goulbourn Maximum Security Prison as an example of where this has happened before.
"Thirty or 40 years ago, Goulbourn used to be a nice country town in New South Wales but as times gone by, all those families have moved to there and Goulbourn has suffered badly with the same problem.
"It's only since everyone started saying we've got to start looking after these prisoners, their families have got a right to see them.
He disagreed with this approach saying "after you go to prison, you should be losing all your rights, you've got no rights at all”.
"Put the prison out at Charleville, Longreach, Cunnamulla, somewhere right out west,” Mr Doblo suggested, "There's less chance of the families even wanting to move out there.”
Mr Doblo said the number of people that had fallen through the cracks over the last 20 or 30 years was starting to become a major problem.
"If you go to the court tomorrow morning, and have a look at all the people who have problems, 95 per cent of them don't even have a job.”
"We've got to do something to create the jobs so we don't have these problems.
"I would sooner see some money spent here to develop our agriculture.
"We have to sit down and nut out a plan, what does the world need, what are we going to grow here and what jobs are we going to create by doing this?”
Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan said prisoners would normally elect to return to their local community upon release.
"While some correctional centres perform a function as a regional correctional centre, namely Rockhampton, Townsville, Maryborough and Mareeba, this does not mean the prisoners at those centres will re-settle in that community,” he said.