North­ern Path­ways

The Daily Examiner - - CLARENCE VALLEY'S POWER 30 -

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.

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