West Dapto Jail

The New South Wales government has a plan to build a jail in West Dapto, one of the biggest urban development areas in New South Wales. It's the wrong plan for the wrong jail in the wrong place. On Saturday I chaired a meeting organised by Anna Watson MP, the member for Shellharbour. Over 300 angry residents attended that meeting. There was nobody speaking in support of the jail.

Let me tell you about West Dapto. It has been gazetted as a growth area for the Illawarra. Over the next 20 years there'll be over 20,000 homes and over 50,000 people in that area. The schools and infrastructure are currently under pressure. Take Dapto Public School for example: 700 students, many of them crammed into demountable classrooms, no plan for a new school—in fact, planning for the area says that over the future years we will need eight new primary schools and two new high schools in the area. The roads in and out of the area need to be upgraded. The government has a plan to put a jail in, but doesn't have a plan to put a new school in. It has a plan to put a jail in, but not a plan to put in new off-ramps on the freeway. It is the wrong plan in the wrong place. The people of West Dapto are angry, and rightfully so. I give my support to those who are campaigning to stop this jail—the wrong jail in the wrong place.