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Dhurringile Prison gives job boost to region

More than 80 jobs have been created due to the expansion of Dhurringile Prison, giving a boost to the local economy.

JARROD WHITTAKER April 14, 2014 3:40am

The expansion of Dhurringile Prison has created a significant boost to the local economy, creating more than 80 operational jobs.

Twenty-five new staff members have already begun work at the prison, with 24 more to begin training next month.

The figures have been announced following a Corrections Victoria campaign to market jobs at regional prisons to Melbourne residents.

Despite the push to attract Melbourne residents, Department of Justice Hume regional director John Duck said the new jobs would benefit the local economy.

‘‘We probably pay them about the 50 to 55 (thousand a year) mark plus penalties,’’ Mr Duck said.

‘‘All of that would be directly into the community because 95 per cent of them live locally.

‘‘Of the new 24 staff going through the squad in May, there’s eight of them from outside the Goulburn Valley.’’

The new jobs were created after the 126-bed expansion at the site in December last year.

Dhurringile has also been in the spotlight following a spate of prisoner ‘‘walk-offs’’ from the unfenced facility.

Five prisoners have escaped since July last year, with all being apprehended within days of their escape.

Mr Duck said more guards were expected to be hired later in the year.

‘‘We expect we’ll be opening another recruiting campaign in October,’’ he said.

The October recruiting campaign would fill vacancies created through staff turnover and need for casuals.

‘‘What we look for in our prison officers is good communication — they need to apply that every day on the job,’’ Mr Duck said. ‘‘Because we need to know about our prisoners, how they’re travelling, and that’s the prison officers’ job in Dhurringile.’’

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