The mouse plague that has swept destructively across western New South Wales for months is forcing the evacuation of a jail in the region.
Up to 200 staff members and 420 inmates of the Wellington Correctional Center will be transferred to other prisons in the next 10 days while clean-up and remediation work takes place.
New South Wales Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin said operations at the jail would be scaled back to cope with the crisis and that in-person visits had been suspended until remediation work was completed.
“The health, safety and well-being of staff and inmates is our number one priority, so it is important that we act now to carry out vital remediation work,” he said Tuesday.
“We need to take this step now to make sure the site is completely clean and the infrastructure is repaired,” he said.
Most of the staff would be reassigned to other prisons in the western region, while a small group would remain in Wellington to supervise and contribute to remediation work.
The mice have caused damage to the internal wiring and ceiling panels.
Commissioner Custody Corrections Assistant Kevin Corcoran said the remediation work would include investigating ways to protect the center from future mouse infestations.