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Contractors sought for Barwon Prison upgrade works

A request for tenders has been opened to find a contractor to deliver the early works of the Barwon Prison upgrade, part of the Victorian Government’s $1.8 billion investment into the prison system.

An additional 162 new beds will be built at Barwon Prison to ensure it is able to meet future demand.

New maximum-security beds are expected to be operational in 2021, allowing the prison to accommodate up to 640 prisoners.

Supporting infrastructure, such as medical and clinical administration buildings, an industry building and visitor centre, will also be included in the upgrade. The existing programs and medical building will be refurbished and repurposed with internal fencing to be built.

The tender currently out is for the upgrade’s early works, which will include fencing, car parks and site offices.

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“We are strengthening Barwon Prison by increasing its capacity and investing in key infrastructure to keep staff and the community safe,” Corrections Minister Ben Carroll said.

“We know that community safety is more than just building more prison beds – that’s why we’re boosting prison programs and investing in education and skill development.”

The Victorian Government aims to deliver an additional 1600 beds across the prison system, with $1.8 billion allocated in the 2019/20 State Budget to plan for growth and provide programs to break the cycle of reoffending.

Of the 1600 new beds, 626 will be delivered using prefabricated modular cells to reduce construction timeframes and overall costs, with 24 management beds also being prefabricated.

A mixture of single and double prefabricated modular cells will be then permanently installed across a number of prisons in the state.

Local content requirements are part of the upgrade and aim to give Victorian contractors and workers the opportunity to build the prefabricated modular cells. Registered apprentices, trainees and cadets will make up 10 per cent of the projects total estimated labour hours.

“Across the state our infrastructure projects are creating hundreds of local jobs and creating a more secure prison system that enhances community safety,” said Member for Lara, John Eren.

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