MP's prison tour blows away luxury myth
IT APPEARS life inside prisons is not as luxurious as some may care to believe.
Even Ipswich West MP Sean Choat had to admit his recent tour of the soon-to-be-reopened Borallon prison revealed just how cold and stark prisons can be.
"I've never been deep inside a prison like this before and it has completely blown away the myth that prisoners live in luxury," he said. "I often receive letters from members of the community asking why we put so much money into our prisons. People can rest assured the prisoners at Borallon will be treated as such and will be given only what they need."
He also wants to organise school tours before it reopens next year.
"I would love to be able to bring groups of young people here to have a look around to see what a prison really looks like," he said.
"If it could influence just one young person not to commit a crime then it would be more than worth it."
Mr Choat was so keen to get that message across, he was furious with the photos supplied to the QT by the Corrections Department.
"It is unfortunate the department would portray Borallon as a comfortable airy place; that I can assure readers it is not," he said. "No amount of window dressing by bureaucrats can change what we saw on our tour."
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said reopening Borallon was a timely, cost-effective solution to the state's prisoner growth problem.
Borallon will house up to 492 minimum security prisoners.
The prison is set to create more than 200 jobs.
"If we are good enough to host a facility like this we, as a community, should see the benefits," Mr Choat said.