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Contract signed for $37.6M Middleton Prison upgrade

Queensland tradies are being encouraged to take advantage of a $37.6 million training package to help the improve skills for big infrastructure projects.

A $37.6 million contract has been signed to expand the capacity of Middleton Prison by 39 beds in Castlemaine, Victoria.

Bendigo-based construction firm Fairbrother Pty Ltd will also invest in social enterprises and jobs for disadvantaged Victorians as part of the contract.

The project is expected to create 165 jobs during construction and generate opportunities for local contractors.

In addition to the new cell accommodation, a number of supporting builders will be refurbished. Security systems will also be upgraded.

The Dja Dja Wurrung, traditional owners of the land on which the prison sits, have also been involved in planning upgrades to the prison’s indigenous garden and other landscaping, as well as on prison education and cultural awareness programs.

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The expansion is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.8 billion investment in delivering flexible prison capacity.

Victorian Corrections Minister Natalie Hutchins said these infrastructure projects are creating thousands of local jobs and a more secure prison system that boosts community safety.

“This is the second of five sites that are being upgraded, creating local jobs in Geelong, Central Victoria and Melbourne,” Hutchins said.

“Our investment in prisons will support the rehabilitation of prisoners and help keep staff and the community safe.”

Middleton prison is the second site of five to have its capacity increased.

Construction will begin soon, with the new beds expected to be operational in mid-2022. Construction across the five sites is expected to be completed in 2023, as part of a program delivered by the Community Safety Building Authority.

“This expansion will help create local jobs across Bendigo through design and construction of these improved facilities. I’m looking forward to seeing this investment help our area thrive,” Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said.

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