Wednesday, 3 October 2018
GLEN Innes Correctional Centre staff and inmates are rolling up their sleeves and lending a helping hand to drought-affected farmers through an innovative Corrections program, the Community Project Team.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said a team of inmates had been working at a farm in the region feeding ewes, measuring damaged fencing for replacement and cleaning out feed troughs.
“This crippling drought is one of those things that’s been difficult for many to prepare for,” Mr Marshall said.
“It is vital we let our farmers know they aren’t alone in working through this drought.
“I think this is a brilliant initiative from the prison to support the farmers and have inmates getting job skills which can assist with their rehabilitation.”
Mr Marshall said the team of nine minimum-security inmates would soon start work on other properties in the region.
“The property we are working on is remote and we are doing a round-trip of 240 kilometres daily and they plan to put in 50 hours of good solid work there alone,” Mr Marshall said.
“A lot of inmates are from the area and can see the effect the drought is having on the land so they are keen to provide assistance and the Correctional Centre is currently talking to farmers so that once this particular job finishes, they will be ready to move on to the next.
“I’m so proud of the work the Community Project Team is doing out there, they are making a real difference and everyone is benefiting from this outpouring of help.”
Farmer Wayne Lowe said the assistance from the centre has been a huge blessing, after a series of operations left much-needed farm maintenance by the wayside.
“I can’t express how grateful I am for their support and was so impressed by how polite, respectful and helpful the inmates were,” Mr Lowe said.
“This is a huge job for me, and so when the team came out here to help, they picked it up quickly and just got on with the jobs with no dramas whatsoever – I am really am just so thankful.”
The Glen Innes project is one of many state wide initiatives planned by correctional centres to offer assistance to farmers through our Community Project Teams.