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Site selected for new Grafton prison

Minister for Corrections David Elliott today announced that a site has been selected for the new Grafton prison, in an important step forward for the state’s prison infrastructure strategy. The farmland at Lavadia about 12.5 kilometres southeast of Grafton was chosen after a rigorous site selection process and is already zoned for use as a correctional centre. Mr Elliott said the prison will significantly boost the number of jobs and economic opportunities in the Grafton, Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers region. It is expected to create about 300 jobs during construction and more than 250 ongoing jobs when it opens in 2019. “This new modern facility will have latest security and surveillance technology and is a long-term investment in this region,” Mr Elliott said. Grafton has a long history with Corrective Services and is ideally located on major transit routes for a new prison. Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the site was chosen because it offers minimal social and environmental impacts. “We will hold community information sessions early next year to provide further information and give residents an opportunity to learn more and ask questions,” Mr Gulaptis said. The new prison is one of the first projects to be delivered by Projects NSW, which manages priority infrastructure projects. It will be built and operated as a public-private partnership but owned by the NSW Government. The new Grafton prison is expected to open in late 2019 after the planning process and a two-year construction period. It will be designated a state significant development.