THE powerhouse of international construction companies, financiers and private prison operators that will build and run Grafton’s new jail has surged into the Power 30 in ninth position.
The Northern Pathways consortium, which won the State Government tender to build the jail, is made of up of UK-based prison company Serco, jail construction experts John Holland, infrastructure specialists John Laing and leaders in public/private partnerships Macquarie.
The consortium has made its presence felt in all areas of life. Locally sourced workers are swarming over the site at Lavadia as construction ramps up.
Consortium members have demonstrated they’re serious about community involvement, funding a number of community groups.
The 1700-bed new jail is going to exert a huge influence on the development of the Clarence Valley once it opens in 2020.
The 600 employees earning an average of about $70,000 a year will transform the local economy.
And the services required to maintain what will become effectively the fourth-largest population centre in the region will ensure countless opportunities for local businesses.
Consortium member Serco, the company that will administer the jail, has already begun recruiting staff from the local population.
Serco has responded positively to pressure from the government to lower recidivism rates at the jail by introducing exciting new rehabilitation options.
One of the features of the jail is going to be a built-in halfway house at the jail, where prisoners close to their release dates move into cells where they can begin to transition to the lifestyles they will experience on the outside.