Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Hawkins to continue work on troubled $503m jail project

Hawkins Construction is working with receivers on one of Australia's largest prison jobs. Photo / Thinkstock
Hawkins Construction is working with receivers on one of Australia's largest prison jobs. Photo / Thinkstock

Hawkins Construction is working with receivers on one of Australia's largest prison jobs.

The building business issued a statement this week saying it had been asked to continue working with the remaining project stakeholders on the A$395 million ($503 million) Ararat prison extensions in Victoria.

Those parties included the project financiers, the Victorian State Government and the receivers which will finalise a completion plan for the project, said the builder.

"The prison extension is being built for the Victoria State Government by our client AEGIS Correctional Partnership Pty - the AEGIS consortium - under a public-private partnership arrangement. Hawkins formed a joint venture with an Australian builder, St Hilliers Construction, to build the prison extension for AEGIS," Hawkins said.

But that St Hilliers Construction, a subsidiary of Sydney-based property investment group St Hilliers, entered voluntary administration last month after failing to secure a A$150 million bailout of the prison project from the Victorian government.

The project was said to be 18 months behind schedule. The prison, 240km northwest of Melbourne, is to have 700 cells when finished in two years.

But a Hawkins spokesman said: "Hawkins Construction is in a strong financial position. We do not expect the issues on the Ararat project to have any direct bearing on our operations in New Zealand or on our other projects."

- NZ Herald

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