High-tech rapid-build prison set to open

COMPLETE: The new rapid-build Macquarie Correctional Centre in Wellington will be unveiled on December 15. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
COMPLETE: The new rapid-build Macquarie Correctional Centre in Wellington will be unveiled on December 15. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

After 16 months of construction a date to unveil the country’s first high-tech and innovative dormitory-style prison has been set to occur in Wellington on December 15. 

The 400-bed maximum-security Macquarie Correctional Centre will be the first of Corrective Services NSW’s Rapid-Build Prisons to begin operations. The prison is part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion prison infrastructure program to address the state’s rising prison population.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the centre will operate with around 220 staff, many of who will come from Wellington, Dubbo, Orange, Mudgee and surrounds.

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“I’m delighted at the tempo of construction,” Mr Elliott said.

“It is ticking all the boxes when it comes to security and rehabilitation.

“The way that the current serving officers have embraced this new technology has proven to me these prison officers are the most robust and versatile in the world.” 

The Rapid-Build Prison design was developed by Corrective Services NSW in conjunction with Phillips Smith Conwell Architects. Mr Elliott said it will revolutionise prison life for a selected group of inmates.

“Placement at this centre will be a privilege for inmates, who will have access to full employment, comprehensive training and targeted incentives,” he said.

“The careful restructuring of inmates’ days aids productivity and importantly, increases inmates’ chances of rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community.”

It has some of the highest-level prison security in NSW, featuring a central command post, round-the-clock monitoring and Immediate Action Team officers at the centre 24/7.