Cows will be returned home to Emu Plains in the middle of this year.
After cows were taken away as part of the preparation for the expansion of Emu Plains Correctional Centre, Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres, said the government will bring 100 beef cattle to the area.
The cows are being placed there as part of the Corrective Services Industries’ ‘Paddock to Plate’ programs.
The ‘Paddock to Plate’ program offers inmates diverse education, training and employment opportunities in primary food production, food processing and meal preparation.
Mr Ayres welcomed the decision to bring a cattle herd back to Emu Plains Correctional Centre following the decision not to proceed with an expansion last year.
“The return of a cattle herd to Emu Plains continues a long tradition of utilising agriculture as part of the rehabilitation of prisoners and I am pleased to see this continue into the future,” he said.
“This decision sends a clear signal to the community that the previously proposed expansion on the site is no longer being considered by Government.”
Corrective Services NSW saves around $6 million each year through CSI the Paddock to Plate self-sufficiency initiative.
The program is not just a cost saving but also offers inmates diverse education, training and employment opportunities in primary food production, food processing and meal preparation.
Commissioner Peter Severin said around 100 cows would pass through Emu Plains each year and be tended by minimum-security female inmates from the nearby correctional centre.
“I know that the people of Emu Plains and the Penrith area will be pleased to know that cows are returning to the paddock on Old Bathurst Road,” Mr Severin said.
“While we had to close the dairy last year, we didn’t realise that the cows would be sorely missed, so we’ve found a more viable alternative to use the farming land.”
The 100 beef cattle will be relocated from Mannus Correctional Centre, near Tumbarumba in the Riverina region of NSW.
CSNSW continues to operate a milk processing facility on the site with raw milk supplied by external dairies and then pasteurised, homogenised and packaged on site, before being distributed to CSNSW inmates around the state.