Minister for Corrections David Elliott has announced that plans for the new Grafton prison have been expanded. The NSW Government is calling for expressions of interest from the private sector to design, build and operate the facility. “The new Grafton facility has been expanded from 600 beds to at least 1,000 beds; and we will be asking the market to cost options for a larger facility on the 195 hectare site, which we know can take at least 1,700 inmates,” Mr Elliott said. “We want this prison to play an important role in reducing reoffending through rehabilitation programs and helping keep the community safer, as well as reducing the burden on police and courts.” Mr Elliot said the prison’s expansion would result in more jobs and investment. Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis encouraged residents to learn more about the Grafton project at community information sessions this month. “We are determined this innovative corrective services facility will be an asset to the Northern Rivers region, fostering community involvement and providing at least 250 jobs for locals, including indigenous employment programs,” Mr Gulaptis said. The new Grafton facility is one of the first projects to be delivered by Projects NSW, a specialist unit of Infrastructure NSW. For details about the community information sessions, expression of interest and to register for project updates, visit the Infrastructure NSW website: www.insw.com The first two community information sessions are being held today Wednesday February 3 at Tucabia hall from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 7.30pm, with each featuring the same presentation. Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin and Infrastructure NSW Project Director Greg Lake will present an overview on the new centre, the planning and construction program, and opportunities for community involvement. The Minister also announced that an extra 250 beds would be added to the previously announced 400-bed expansion of Parklea Correctional Centre in Sydney’s northwest, bringing the total extension to 650 new beds. Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin said the new Grafton prison and Parklea extension are a part of the government’s planning to accommodate the state’s expanding inmate population. “We are taking a long term view, at Grafton and across the system, to ensure new inmate capacity is created cost efficiently while also maximising benefits to the broader community,” he said.