Detention centre anger continues for Caversham residents

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly (right) with concerned residents. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d447604
Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly (right) with concerned residents. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d447604

CAVERSHAM residents held a “good-natured” Christmas-themed protest outside the Bennett Brook Disability Justice Centre on Lord Street last week.

With a banner addressing Premier Colin Barnett that read “All we want for Christmas is … no detention centre here”, more than 20 people gathered outside the centre.

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said residents were still against the centre and would not back down in their stance.

“The Premier said the community would change its mind once the centre opened; it’s open but people are still angry.” Mr Kelly said.

“The fact it cost over $8 million to build and it will cost millions each year to run has only fuelled the resentment in the community.

“Tuesday’s Christmas event outside the centre was a good-natured way to let the Premier know the campaign is not going away.”

Mr Kelly said he and residents believed the centre was too close to schools and homes.

The Eastern Reporter revealed in November that despite only two people being housed in the Caversham |centre, the State Government would evaluate whether a second centre was needed.

Bennett Brook was opened on Lord Street in Caversham in August, with two people moved into the $8.47 million facility by August 20.

Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said the facility was built to meet demand over several years into the future.

“We have deliberately chosen to take a cautious and careful approach to building up numbers in the facility in order to bed down operational policies and procedures,” she said.