THE banks overseeing the Ararat Prison project have selected a builder and are finalising the contracts for major construction works to resume.
The Commonwealth, Bendigo and Adelaide banks are in talks with global construction company Brookfield Multiplex for the stalled building works to proceed, a spokesperson for Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh said.
It comes after Brookfield Multiplex was appointed by the banks to take over preliminary and rectification works at the site last December.
“There has been work going on since December and preliminary work going on while the banks finalise the contracts for the main work for a builder, which is happening at the moment,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re keen to see work start there as soon as possible. It’s been a long time without those jobs available in Ararat.”
Work on the $400 million site stopped last April after St Hilliers Construction went into voluntary administration and the consortium overseeing the project went into administration.
The state government reached a deal with banks in August this year to take over the 350-bed project.
Some Ballarat sub-contractors have been involved in the preliminary remedial works, while The Courier understands others are hoping to resume their roles when the main building work proceeds.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union confirmed that Multiplex would give workers the option to return if they had previously been on the site.
Up to 10 Ballarat-based sub-contractors were involved in the prison project and many were forced to lay off employees as they had not been paid for work done at the site.
At one stage, up to $20 million was owed to sub-contractors from across the state, with some Ballarat businesses more than $500,000 out of pocket.