Local, Politics

Australia’s newest and biggest prison near Grafton due for a mid-2020 start

The Clarence Correctional Centre at Lavadia south of Grafton is expected to house its first inmates by mid 2020.

The Minister for Corrective Services, Anthony Roberts toured the $700 million jail precinct’s recently completed minimum security wing for male inmates yesterday.

An aerial view of the prison under construction. Photo: the ABC

The prison, a public-private partnership (PPP) is due to be run by the UK based giant services provider SERCO.

Mr Roberts says the 1700-bed facility is a much sought after asset. The state government estimates the prison will inject more than $500 million into the local economy over the next 20 years.

“This is the sort of powerhouse I’ve got to say communities around the state call out for because the jobs are not just for this generation, but because of the flow on effect of jobs for future generations ” Mr Roberts said.

SERCO is proposing to run an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in Corindi in the Coffs Harbour local government area as part of this prison.

However residents of the Corindi community have grabbed the attention of powerful new allies in their bid to stop what they’ve called a “free-range jail” in the heart of their small town.

Greens MP David Shoebridge, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh, and Coffs Harbour City councillors Tegan Swan and John Arkan have now all thrown their support behind the action group.

The residents, banning together as the Corindi Residents Action Group, are opposing the plan by SERCO to run an alcohol and drug correctional centre claiming having the centre 300m from a school meant it was in the wrong place and that it amounted to a “free range jail”.

A meeting of approximately 350 residents and the politicians named above attended a meeting in Corindi in early June (see picture below) which saw only five of those present vote in favour of the rehab centre to be known as ‘Home Strait.’

Members of the Corindi community have garnered the attention of powerful new allies in their bid to stop a proposal to open what they’ve dubbed a “free-range jail” in the heart of the small coastal town.

2 Comments

  1. Not something to be proud of. Prisons should be designed to be places of rehabilitation not designed to be cells of incarceration. Janne C Lindrum

  2. Some time ago now I met with the Premier of New South Wales to discuss the benefits of creating food bowls in city centres, changing the face of aged care and the prison system by implementing the SPARK HOME FARM concept designed by Internationally renowned Architect – graduate of the Royal College of London – Stephen Pimbley of SPARK, Singapore, London and Beijing and supported by Agricultural Scientist Dr John Troughton. NIL ACTION. Rather than expending millions of dollars on unneeded stadia we should be investing in these sorts of initiatives. My view, it is reckless to do otherwise. Our State is now on the brink of serious water shortages. I recall prominent businessman Tony Perish and I having a discussion 25 years ago about the urgent need to construct more dams in Australia and to run a pipeline from the top end into the Murray basin. The problem is, our priorities are upside down. Instead of being able to brag about implementing innovative BIG IDEAS, we brag about having the biggest jail in the Southern Hemisphere and send businesses broke and expose men and women in the engine room of the State to substantive claims for compensation (e.g. estimated $1.6 billion dollars) because we have failed to do proper due diligence on the light rail project!!! Logic absentia.
    Janne C Lindrum (See SPARK HOME FARM http://www.lindrumproperty.com)

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