$110 million for jail upgrade tops budget spending for Bathurst

250 NEW JAIL BEDS: Corrections Minister David Elliott, Bathurst MP Paul Toole and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin inspect plans for the expansion of Bathurst Correctional Centre. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

250 NEW JAIL BEDS: Corrections Minister David Elliott, Bathurst MP Paul Toole and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin inspect plans for the expansion of Bathurst Correctional Centre. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

A REDEVELOPMENT of the jail, money for Velocity Park and a commitment to start work on our new ambulance station were the highlights for Bathurst in the state budget handed down on Tuesday.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s first state budget unveiled surpluses worth almost $12 billion, underpinned by stamp duty from a booming property market and asset privatisations as well as $23 billion worth of cost cuts.

Bathurst MP Paul Toole said it was a budget that was not about today but, rather, planning for the future of NSW.

“This is an unprecedented budget in terms of investment across the regions,” Mr Toole said.

“It is about investing in the things that matter to our local communities.”

Mr Toole said $110 million had been set aside for a massive redevelopment of Bathurst Correctional Centre that will see 250 new maximum security beds opened at the facility.

The upgrade, announced last August, is expected to create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase and 55 new full-time corrective services jobs once the new beds are open.

The budget also confirmed $6 million in funding for a new Bathurst ambulance station, promised to the region during the 2015 state election campaign, and $15 million towards the development of the Velocity Park second track project on Mount Panorama.

There is also $1 million to build a new car park at Bathurst railway station and money for local roads projects, including a $300,000 upgrade of the bridge over Hawthornden Creek on the Vale Road.

“The other item I really like is the announcement that every parent in NSW will be eligible for a $100 rebate to cover sporting expenses or fees for every school-aged child in their family,” Mr Toole said.

“This is great – it’s about trying to help with the cost of sport and get children back out there playing and being involved in sport and a healthy lifestyle.”

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