Row over 'dodgy' jail at Gatton

THE State Opposition has asked the auditor-general to review the government’s handling of a jail tender it has described as “dodgy”.

The government announced last month it would mothball Borallon prison in Ipswich and transfer inmates to a new prison near Gatton due to be opened next year.

Security company Serco, which manages Borallon jail, was awarded the contract to operate the new jail, in what the LNP has labelled a “dodgy deal”.

LNP Corrective Services spokesman John-Paul Langbroek said the government did not conduct a proper tendering process.

“The way this secret deal between Serco, who currently run the prison at Borallon, and the State Government has been handled raises many questions,” he said.

“Under the normal tendering for service process, the contract for service delivery at the new Gatton prison should have been advertised and put to the market to ensure the best value for money was achieved.

“This matter deserves due consideration and that’s why I have written to the auditor-general seeking advice on whether this deal is in fact legal and meets the state government’s own rules and guidelines.”

Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) was consulted regarding a plan to transfer the contract to manage Borallon Correctional Centre to the new Southern Queensland Correctional Centre.

“In fact, the advice I have been provided is that the QAO was consulted about the proposal before negotiations between Queensland Corrective Services and Serco commenced,” Mr Roberts said.

The Minister took the opportunity to hit back at “scaremongering from the LNP on claims that an immigration detention centre will be established at Borallon”.

“As has been publicly stated many times, the State Government has had discussions with the Federal Government about the possible development of an additional immigration centre in Queensland,” he said.

“However, there is no agreement and no decisions made on this issue.”

Topics:  gatton ipswich jail prison state opposition

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