Emu Plains community lashes out over proposed maximum security prison

Councillor Karen McKeown, Shadow Corrective Services Minister Guy Zangari and Member for Londonderry Prue Car are against a new prison in Emu Plains. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Over 100 furious residents attended a public meeting last night, regarding a NSW Government proposal to increase the number of inmates at Emu Plains Prison.

“They’re not happy at all,” Labor Councillor Karen McKeown told the Weekender.

“People were really angry they haven’t been consulted about such a momentous project coming to Emu Plains, to a very quiet community.”

The NSW Government plans to increase the current 200 low security prison inmates to include an additional 240 high security female and 400 high security male inmates.


An artist's impression of inside the Emu Plains rapid build prison.
An artist’s impression of inside the Emu Plains rapid build prison.

Before the NSW Department of Corrective Services has even handed a proposal to Penrith Council, Council has made a submission against it.

“Penrith Council is advocating at the highest levels of Government on behalf of our community,” Penrith Mayor John Thain said.

“To make sure this happens we have officially written to Corrective Services Minister, David Elliott, outlining Council’s objection… The NSW Government is the consent authority for the proposal.”

Corrective Services NSW said they are finalising a proposal for the expansion and won’t be consulting with the community on the plans until early next year.

“The centre is dedicated to keeping the community safe and reducing reoffending through education and vocational training, and we will continue to keep this as our priority as it expands. We take pride in being a good neighbour in Emu Plains,” Commissioner Peter Severin said.

Discussions with key stakeholders will be held and a presentation will be given to Penrith Council, letters will be sent to residents and stakeholders and advertisements will be placed in the local press.

Mr Severin said expansion of this centre will help ease the prisoner population challenge and contribute to the local area.

“Emu Plains Correctional Centre already employs more than 70 staff and this new proposal could see hundreds more jobs created, both during construction and when operational,” he said.

Dale Drinkwater

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