Minister for Corrections David Elliott and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole have turned the first sod on a new 220-bed wing of Bathurst Correctional Centre.

Inspecting the site with construction company Hansen Yucken today, Mr Elliott said the expansion was yet another milestone in the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion prison infrastructure plan.

“Expanding this centre in Bathurst will not only accommodate the increasing prison population but will also deliver modern infrastructure for the safety of prison officers and inmate rehabilitation,” Mr Elliott said.

“It also supports the NSW Government’s commitment to stimulate jobs and growth in regional NSW, ensuring every community receives its fair share.”

Site establishment works will start in late August and construction is expected to be complete by late 2020.

“This facility will deliver further investment in the region by creating jobs and attract workers who will spend their wages on food, accommodation and other local goods and services,” Mr Toole said.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the expansion would not only boost regional employment and economies but would create safer communities.

The facility will house 220 maximum-security male inmates, a new education and programs unit, visits area, industries workshop, new reception, gatehouse buildings and a new kitchen, laundry and stores.