Tweed Heads cop shop and Grafton jail priorities in Budget
- Sod to be turned on Tweed Heads Police Station upgrade this year
- Private sector talks on new Grafton Prison to start this year
CONSTRUCTION work on the Tweed Heads Police Station refurbishment will start in the second half of this year, with $13.3 million allocated to the work in the state government's 2015-16 budget.
Planning for the project started in 2009, with the state government spending $6,651,000 on the $25.2 million project to date, with a further $5.2 million expected to follow in 2016-17.
MORE FROM NSW BUDGET 2015
The project was one of nine police station refurbishments funded in the NSW budget, worth $64 million, while the state will also inject $100 million over four years into new equipment for police including mobile finger print scanners and "body-worn video cameras".
Deputy Premier Troy Grant said the $100 million fund would "future-proof" the state' police force to ensure officers had access to the latest technology, "freeing them up to spend more time on the beat".
Officers who get injured in the line of duty will also get access to more support with $17 million over four years for the state's Police Force Wellbeing program,
The future of the new 600-bed Grafton Prison will also likely be known before year's end.
While the value of the upgrade and future private-public partnership to run the prison was not published in the budget, "due to their commercially-sensitive nature", budget documents show.
A Treasury official confirmed the government planned to go to the market for the contract to run the prison in the second half of this year, with negotiations expected to be completed about 12 months later.
She said while the government could not pre-empt those commercial talks, it was common practice for the government to require the workforce to live locally.
Once a deal was reached with the private sector, the prison infrastructure project would then go through planning approval stages, she said.
- APN NEWSDESK