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​New Grafton prison delivers jobs, investment​

Issued: Thursday, 16 March 2017

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Minister for Corrections David Elliott today announced the preferred proponent for a new 1700-bed prison in Grafton, providing regional jobs, state-of-the-art security and rehabilitation services for inmates.

In a boost for regional residents and businesses, the prison will inject more than $560 million into the local economy with 1,100 jobs created during construction and about 600 permanent jobs once operational.

The prison will have maximum security beds for 1,000 males and 300 females. It will also house 400 minimum security male inmates.

“I’m pleased to announce Northern Pathways consortium, comprising Serco, John Laing, John Holland and Macquarie Capital is the preferred proponent for this important project for Grafton,” Mr Elliott said.

“The project received very high-quality bids, but Northern Pathways was superior in terms of operational excellence, price and their design has a significant focus on our commitment to reduce reoffending.

“The Government has endorsed the recommendation by the project’s steering committee and will now enter contract negotiations to deliver the facility by 2020.”

The operator in Northern Pathways consortium currently operates a number of correctional facilities in other jurisdictions including Western Australia, Queensland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“When completed, the new Grafton prison will be the largest correctional facility in Australia, so it is important that we get this right,” Mr Elliott said. “Delivering this project as a Public Private Partnership provides taxpayers with value-for-money and has encouraged innovation and excellence.”

The prison site is approximately 12.5km southeast of Grafton and 3km northeast of the Clarence Valley Regional Airport.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the announcement was a significant milestone for the Clarence Valley. “I know the community of the Clarence Valley is very excited at the prospect of the new prison because of the huge financial investment and jobs it will bring to the region,” Mr Gulaptis said.​