Chisholm Road Prison has exceeded a key local content target by 50 per cent this month, with more than 45,000 labour hours allocated to workers living in suburbs with high unemployment rates in the Geelong area.
The project has now injected a total of $200 million into the local economy – $126 million for services and supplies from businesses in Greater Geelong and Melbourne’s western suburbs, and $74 million to employ local sub-contractors and workers living within 30 kilometres of the project site.
Specific employment targets for workers in the Geelong suburbs of Corio, Norlane, Whittington and parts of Colac, were set prior to the start of construction in February 2020.
These postcodes were identified as focus areas for targeted recruitment in consultation with the G21 Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) initiative.
The project is continuing to actively recruit from targeted postcodes, after exceeding an initial goal of offering 30,000 labour hours to workers based in these areas.
More than 1200 workers are now on-site to construct the new prison near the existing Barwon Prison Precinct.
The project entered its peak construction phase in July 2021, with workforce numbers expected to rise to more than 1400 in coming months and the external structures of 41 buildings on-site now largely complete.
Ten per cent of labour hours on the project are allocated to young workers including apprentices, trainees and cadets.
An additional $16.3 million has been directed to social enterprises that support indigenous and disadvantaged Victorians and people with a disability in gaining employment.
Construction of the prison is being managed by John Holland, overseen by the Community Safety Building Authority, which delivers infrastructure on behalf of the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The project is scheduled for completion in 2022.
The new maximum security prison will be built in the Barwon South West Region near Geelong, in the vicinity of the existing prison precinct which includes Barwon Prison and Marngoneet Correctional Centre.