Case Studies

Wellington Correctional Centre

The Dubbo Regional Council is a local government in regional New South Wales with a population of 51,400 people.

Challenges

The state government was planning a major upgrade to a correctional facility located outside of the municipality’s second largest town of Wellington. An additional 220 jobs would be required at the upgraded facility with many of the employees expected to live in Wellington or the broader municipality.

Despite the inherent separation of correctional facilities from their surrounding environment, it was anticipated that there were going to be some flow-on effects resulting from the upgrade. These may present themselves as opportunities as part of the construction phase, but also the enhanced operational phase.

Project Goals

Council wanted to understand what some of the potential impacts would be on local communities as a result of the upgrade, including changes to the resident workforce, employment, industry and the possible need for new infrastructure.

Council also wanted to identify possible opportunities where local businesses and residents might benefit from the expanded facilities.

Results

The two-part approach resulted in interesting and useful insights. On the one hand, the stakeholder engagement revealed that the general perspective of local businesses and residents was that the correctional facility was peripheral to the town and not a significant contributing factor to the economy. On the other, the economic impact analysis revealed the less apparent benefits of the correctional facility provided through factors such as employment, payment of wages and the flow on effects this has for other businesses.

The insights provided by this project provided a sound evidence-base to develop targeted actions that responded to the needs of the community, local industry and the correctional facility.

REMPLAN’s Involvement

From stakeholder engagement through to technical analysis and reporting, the capabilities of REMPLAN enabled the project to be delivered completely in-house.

REMPLAN completed the project as two distinct, but complementary parts:

  • Firstly, a quantitative assessment involving economic impact modelling estimated the direct and flow on impacts of the upgraded correctional facility for the regional economy.
  • Secondly, a largely qualitative investigation was undertaken by way of several stakeholder workshops facilitated by REMPLAN. The purpose of the workshops was to explore the current economic climate in Wellington as well as the potential impacts and issues associated with the expanded facility from the perspectives of government, local business and industry, operators of the correctional facility and the local community.
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