Murweh Shire Council has saved $5000 by allocating landscaping works to offenders on community service orders.
Murweh Shire Council has saved $5000 by allocating landscaping works to offenders on community service orders. Contributed

Thousands of dollars saved using offenders' labour

OFFENDERS have been put to work in local communities, as part of a program that is saving councils, and ratepayers, thousands of dollars each year.

Across the region, offenders on community service orders have been maintaining the Cosmos Centre grounds in Charleville, and assisting in the effort to restore the Cunnamulla Railway station.

"They have completed more than 200 hours of work at the Cosmos Centre and Observatory, valued at more than $5000,” said acting regional manager of the Roma and District Community Corrections office, Lucy Rockett.

"In the Cunnamulla project, offenders have been undertaking landscaping and gardening around the railway station.

"They have completed more than 40 hours of work, worth more than $1000.”

The offenders aren't paid for their work under the community service orders; Queensland Corrective Services partners with regional councils and local organisations, and sends them out to repay the communities harmed by their behaviour, with valuable labour.

"By undertaking unpaid community work, offenders are given the opportunity to reconnect with the community,” Ms Rockett said.

"It is also an opportunity to develop useful life and vocational skills, which are necessary to increase their chance of future employment.

"This, in turn, reduces recidivism and helps to keep the community safe, while reducing the financial impact to the community.”

Bringing in extra labourers to work on the Cunnamulla railway station has made a marked difference for the Paroo Progress Association, which is in the midst of transforming the once-decrepit building into a tourist attraction.

"Their work is of great benefit to the people of the region, and saves ratepayers money,” Paroo Progress Association chair Karen Ticehurst said.


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