Ararat upgrade to resume

MAJOR construction on the troubled Ararat prison upgrade in western Victoria (pictured) is expected to resume early next year.

MAJOR construction on the troubled Ararat prison upgrade in western Victoria (pictured) is expected to resume early next year.

The Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have reached agreement with builder Brookfield Multiplex that allows it to begin preliminary works at the site immediately.

Further negotiations are continuing, with major construction works expected to resume early next year.

Victorian Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh said the deal was an important step in rescuing the project. He said 49 claims worth $8.6 million had been paid to subcontractors, whose claims were being assessed by KordaMentha.

Most of the payments had been made to small subcontractors in Ararat and across western and central Victoria, Mr McIntosh said.

Work on the site stopped in May after St Hilliers Construction went into voluntary administration and the consortium overseeing the project went into administration.

Premier Ted Baillieu said in August the cost of the deal to taxpayers would be revealed later.

The Ararat jail upgrade was expected to be completed about the end of 2014.

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