In Focus

Work Begins on Australia's Largest Prison

Northern Pathways is pleased to announce that initial works for the new Grafton Correctional Centre have begun.
Serco Group Plc:

Northern Pathways is pleased to announce that initial works for the new Grafton Correctional Centre have begun.


Representatives from the consortium joined with the NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, Minister for Corrections, David Elliott, Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, and members of the Northern Rivers community to turn the first sod in readiness for the new facility.


Northern Pathways is a consortium of three companies which are local and international leaders in their fields:

  • Serco – a leading operator of correctional facilities in Australia, New Zealand and the UK
  • John Holland – operating in Australia for over 60 years, a Tier 1 Australian builder and recognised leader in the corrections sector
  • John Laing – has an unsurpassed global track record as independent investor and manager of PPP projects.


The state-of-the art, modern correctional centre will be the primary correctional complex for all corrections operations from the Queensland border in the north, Kempsey in the southeast and Tamworth in the southwest. It will deliver $560m in economic benefits to the region over the next 20 years and generate 1100 jobs in construction and up to 600 during operation.


The NGCC will be made up of individual facilities which will hold three different categories of inmates safely, securely and entirely separately. It will include a 1000-bed male maximum security facility; a 300-bed female maximum security facility; and a 400-bed male minimum security facility. It will be the largest correctional facility in Australia when complete.


Both the centre itself, and the programs that inmates will participate in, are designed with the goal of reducing reoffending and making our communities safer.


Chief Executive Officer of John Holland, Joe Barr, said the company had industry leading experience in the construction of correctional facilities, including currently delivering the 1000-bed Ravenhall Prison in Melbourne.


“We look forward to working with the local community on this significant project. We will have training programs in place to recruit and train local people, so they can get employment not only in the construction phase, but in
operations as well,” he said.


Chris Cox, John Laing group’s Northern Pathways representative said: “This is a great opportunity for the private sector to contribute to the modernisation of the NSW Correctional infrastructure and take an active role in reducing of re-offending.”


Serco Australia CEO Mark Irwin said the prison’s design, build and operate model ensured a high level of safety and security but allowed the introduction of significant education and vocational training programs which helped build life skills and prepare inmates for life on release.

“We work with our community and industry partners to develop these skills and give inmates the best chance at becoming responsible citizens again. Today is the first step to us making a positive difference through our work at the New Grafton Correctional Centre.”



Serco: Tim Evans: +61 409 389 358

John Holland: Nicola Mitchell: M. +61 402 398 545

John Laing: Chris Cox: + 61 424 365 098


Serco Group Plc

About Serco Group Plc

Serco is an international service company, which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos. Around the world, we improve essential services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. We advise policy makers, design innovative solutions, integrate systems and - most of all - deliver to the public. Serco supports governments, agencies and companies who seek a trusted partner with a solid track record of providing assured service excellence. Our people offer operational, management and consulting expertise in the aviation, BPO, defence, education, environmental services, facilities management, health, home affairs, information and communications technology, knowledge services, local government, science and nuclear, transport, welfare to work and the commercial sectors. More information can be found at

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