Prisoners may start helping flood-affected sugarcane farmers on Fraser Coast properties.
Prisoners may start helping flood-affected sugarcane farmers on Fraser Coast properties. Robyne Cuerel

Low-risk prisoners may clear flood debris from cane fields

UP TO 12 low-risk prisoners from Maryborough could be set to do flood recovery labour on farms from next month.

Maryborough Correctional Centre general manager Trevor Craig said there had been discussions with the Queensland Recovery Authority about low-risk prisoners removing debris from sugarcane fields, which were flooded in January this year.

He said the repair works were a hands-on process that could not be performed by farming machinery.

"At the moment we are looking at possibly supplying 12 prisoners until early September on this job," Mr Craig said.

"The work camp prisoners have an extensive history of cleaning up areas following natural disasters throughout the state."

Mr Craig said prisoners and offenders had helped with the clean-up of other flood-affected sugarcane fields in the Bundaberg and North Burnett regions earlier in the year.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey has also thrown his support behind the prisoner program.

"Prison shouldn't just be about sitting inside and waiting to be released," he said.

Mr Dempsey said his department was investigating options for more flood clean-ups by low-risk prisoners.

Prison program

  • Up to 12 prisoners could be assisting flood-affected farmers on properties in the Fraser Coast
  • Low-risk prisoners will remove debris from sugarcane fields flooded in January
  • Work will be hands-on and nothing that could be done by machinery


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