IPA awards - Allens wins for role in landmark prison project

By David Donnelly
Infrastructure Property & Development

A landmark prison project – with a unique Public Private Partnership (PPP) model and a world leading investment into prisoner rehabilitation – was recognised last night at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) National Awards, with law firm Allens winning a key award for its role in the project.

The team at Allens was recognised for its role in the Ravenhall Prison, winning the award for Advisory Excellence.

Between December 2013 and September 2014, Allens advised the winning consortium – made up of GEO Group Australia, John Holland, Honeywell and Capella Capital (the GEO consortium) – on all aspects of this ground-breaking PPP.

The GEO consortium won the role to design, build, maintain and operate the facility over a 25 year period.

According to Partner David Donnelly, who led the team and collected the award on their behalf: 'It's been a great project to work on as it was built on extensive collaboration between all members of the GEO consortium and the State Government team.

'The project has been unique in that, not only did it introduce a State Government body into this private sector consortium and involve the GEO consortium's long term commitment to the project, it has produced an Australian-first, by introducing a payment-by-results model,' said Mr Donnelly.

The Ravenhall prison represents the largest 'whole of life' investment in a prison ever undertaken by a government and is considered world leading. Through investment in opportunities for prisoners to engage in work, education and programs, prisoners are not only held safely and securely but given every chance to turn their lives around. The innovative programs and interventions run through the prison will address anti-social behaviours and the abuse of drugs and alcohol, as well as help ex-prisoners with day-to-day challenges such as gaining and holding employment and finding suitable places to live.

'The prison is an exciting project for the state as it contributes to a safer Victorian community by focusing on new and long-term ways to reduce the risk of future crimes occurring. It will also generate significant benefits to the local economy, creating hundreds of jobs during the construction period and further jobs once the prison is operational.

'To win this award for Advisory Excellence at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia's national awards, among our peers, was especially pleasing for the team, as this project is not only enhanced by the PPP model, it is also playing a significant role in benefitting the community overall,' said Mr Donnelly.

Allens was also recognised recently at the Infrastructure Investor 2014 Annual Awards in January, where the firm won the award for 'Asia Pacific Law Firm of the Year' for our role in a range of projects, including North West Rail Link, Queensland New Generation Rollingstock and the Westlink M7 re-fi.

These awards cap off a successful year so far for the Infrastructure team at Allens, according to Emma Warren, Sector Leader of Infrastructure & Transport.

'We are delighted about these awards as they really reflect the depth and breadth of our national infrastructure practice,' said Ms Warren.

'We look forward to building on this success on our upcoming roles on major infrastructure projects this year.'

The IPA awards celebrate and acknowledge the innovation and excellence of Australia's public and private sectors in the delivery of infrastructure. The Awards reflect IPA's principles of best practice in procurement, design and delivery of key assets and services and provide an important opportunity for the sector to celebrate its successes in building the nation for the future.


Notes for editors.

Allens is a commercial law firm working throughout Australia and Asia. Through its integrated alliance with Linklaters it provides clients access to 40 offices in 28 countries around the world.