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New jobs locked in for Grafton

With Grafton unveiled as the site for Australia’s largest gaol, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis is grinning from ear to ear and it's certainly something worth smiling about. 

The construction of the correctional facility has locked in over a thousand new jobs, will inject more than $560 million into the local economy, and will see a bright future for the region.

Mr Gulaptis fought hard to secure Grafton as the location for the country's newest correctional facility and since the announcement, he has been focused on getting the most he can from the huge financial investment it will bring to his community. 

“The new Grafton Correction Centre is the ultimate game changer for the Clarence Valley,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The new gaol, with a capacity of 1,700 inmates, will be the largest in the country and combined with a workforce of 600 it will be the fourth largest community in the Clarence Valley. Overall the development will necessitate a growth in health, education and support services for the whole of the Clarence Valley.”

While the recent Pacific Hwy and Grafton bridge upgrades have brought many construction jobs into the area; the Correctional Centre will bring even more.

The 1,100 jobs created in the construction phase will be complemented with 600 well-paying permanent and local jobs when complete. Together with the significant capital investment, the facility will stimulate the region’s economy for decades to come.

It is expected industries affiliated with corrective services will open in Grafton with the potential to generate an industrial hub near the gaol, further driving local employment. 

The correctional facility will be a public-private partnership, with Northern Pathways announced as the successful consortium. Northern Pathways is taking responsibility for the construction, maintenance, and everyday operations and aim to build a strong community around the centre’s daily operations. They currently operate a number of correctional facilities in other jurisdictions including Western Australia, Queensland, and New Zealand.

“The bid from the Northern Pathways consortium was a superior bid in terms of operational excellence, price and their design has a significant focus on reducing reoffending,” Mr Gulaptis said.

The correctional facility will be located 12.5km southeast of Grafton on a 195-hectare site at the juncture of the Pacific Highway and the newly divided motorway.

Construction is planned to start later this year and should be completed by 2020.

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