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Specialist consultants to assess Maitland Gaol site

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After lying dormant for the past two months, Maitland City Council is taking the first steps to safely reopen Maitland Gaol to the public.

The popular tourist attraction was closed in March after an independent review uncovered issues with the fire and electrical systems at the site.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” general manager Jeff Smith said at the time.

“But, the safety of council staff, visitors and the Maitland community is of the utmost importance.”

Since then, council has contracted a team of specialist consultants to determine what is required to resurrect the 170-year-old Heritage Listed premises.

Their reports, which are expected in late July, will be reviewed by Maitland City officers, who will develop the timeframe and budget needed to execute the remediation works and eventual reopening of the gaol.

“We are working to determine the best way forward, including engaging with the NSW Government, which owns the site, about what funding may be available to conduct repair works,” Mr Smith said.

“I’m well aware of the impact of this closure on our staff, groups who were using the Maitland Gaol’s facilities and the wider community.

“However, we had no choice but to put the safety of our staff and visitors first.”

Permanent Maitland Gaol employees have been temporarily assigned to other locations.

Council’s also assisted a number of organisations, displaced by the closure, to find alternative venues.

“Even though I am unable to provide a reopening timeframe at this stage, I want to assure the community that finding a path forward for Maitland Gaol is a priority,” Mr Smith said.

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