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Strategic Advisory Services

Former Grafton Correctional Centre

About the project

Property and Development NSW (PDNSW) is taking steps to repurpose the former Grafton Correctional Centre site to deliver better outcomes for the community.

The 130-year-old gaol was closed in 2020 following the opening of the new, fit-for-purpose Clarence Correctional Centre at nearby Lavadia.

In late 2023, Clarence Valley Council approved PDNSW’s application to subdivide the site to enable its plans to:

  • transfer part of the site to the Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) to support better outcomes for the local Aboriginal community
  • explore the adaptive reuse of the remaining parts of the site, including its most significant heritage buildings and spaces to support the region’s economic growth.

Transfer to Grafton Ngerrie LALC

In January 2024, the NSW Government returned a portion of the former correctional centre site comprising the gaol’s old market garden and industrial buildings to the Grafton Ngerrie LALC, resolving an Aboriginal land claim.

The site will be used to serve the wider community and provide much-needed job and training opportunities for local Aboriginal people and the broader Clarence Valley community.

Heritage precinct Expression of Interest campaign

An international Expression of interest campaign was launched on 15 March 2024 seeking proposals to acquire and repurpose the historical portion of the site.

The parts of the site subject to the EOI include the gaol’s landmark gatehouse entrance, central courtyard, three cell blocks, a guard station, amenities block, reception area and the Governor’s office.

EOI submissions will be assessed against criteria including the potential to deliver economic and community benefits to Grafton and the Clarence Valley region.

The old gaol’s historic buildings and spaces are state heritage-listed which means they must be preserved and adaptively reused in ways that ensure the site remains a historic centrepiece in Grafton.

Any future plans for the repurposing of the site will be subject to planning approvals processes, including mandatory community consultation.

The EOI closes on 24 April 2024.


The state heritage-listed former Grafton Correctional Centre (Old Grafton Gaol) operated between 1890 and 2020 as a medium-security prison for men and women.

It was closed as it was no longer fit-for-purpose and surplus to Corrective Services NSW’s requirements following the opening of the new Clarence Correctional Centre.

Corrective Services NSW engaged PDNSW to investigate options and potential opportunities to repurpose the site.

Following extensive consultation with Clarence Valley Council, the local community, and Grafton Ngerrie LALC, PDNSW reached agreement on a plan to subdivide the former Grafton Gaol site to deliver better outcomes for the community.

Next steps

  • Heritage precinct EOI submissions will be assessed against set criteria as part of a rigorous evaluation process.
  • Selection of a successful proponent following the completion of the EOI process and any subsequent tender stages.