Australia is set to construct the biggest jail house in the country in southwest Sydney as the government of New South Wales will close Long Bay Jail and sell off its seafront land.
The new jail, which can accommodate up to 5,000 criminals, will be constructed at one of three sites in Wollondilly, which is 90 kilometers away from the state’s capital, in an attempt to deal with the overcrowding in the state’s prison system.
It is set to substitute Sydney’s Long Bay jail, which is situated in Malabar, and will be traded for its prime real estate. Part of the reasons why Long Bay is being closed down is because many feel that prisoners do not deserve to have sea views.
“Long Bay is a prime bit of real estate with close access to the eastern beaches, the airport and the city,” Corrections Minister David Elliott said. “I’ve long held the view that prisoners should not have the enjoyment of a seaside setting.”
Elliot also said in a statement that the old prison will not be shut down until construction for the new prison, which will be privately constructed and managed, is completed and becomes fully operational, according to the Daily Mail.
Elliot unveiled the plan after Premier Mike Baird put down a bid to reopen Parramatta jail and house up to 300 prisoners temporarily. The proposal to reopen Parramatta was contradicted by Parramatta MP Geoff Lee and Planning Minister Rob Stokes.
Besides the new mega-jail, a total of 3,000 apartments is also set to be established near it. There have also been worries that a renovation of the prison could potentially hinder the extension of Westmead Hospital and the Parramatta Light Rail.
The NSW government is also developing a plan to construct a new prison in Grafton, which will house 1,700 prisoners, in 2019, according to Nine News.