When the new government gets cracking on its promised work camps for prisoners it needs to look no further than the Larapinta Trail, much of which was built by inmate labour in the 1990s. The current dry spell and the escalating threat from weeds to our neglected national parks, add urgency for a cheap workforce that can be deployed at short notice. The need to halt the decay of our prime natural assets, which should be bringing home the bacon for our flagging tourism industry, makes a good argument for change for people now doing time in what some regard as holiday comfort. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured: Botanist Peter Latz with wattle burnt in a bushfire.
This Christmas, residents in Tennant Creek and its surrounds will benefit from more than $140,000 worth of community work undertaken by 44 Barkly Work Camp prisoners.
Correctional Services Minister Gerry McCarthy says since the $7 million work camp officially opened on September 8 under the new era of corrections, the prisoners had completed almost 10,000 hours of work across more than 30 projects.