Justice centre spending discontent

The decision was finalised as part of last week’s Budget announcement that stated construction of the second centre proposed on Altone Road in Kiara would be deferred until the Caversham facility was operational.

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said it was ‘incredible’ the government was persisting with the project at all.

‘The budget is full of higher taxes and charges for families and yet they still have found nearly $7 million for the disability detention centres which are clearly not supported by the community,’ he said.

‘The statement in the budget that the decision on the construction of a second DJC has been deferred until the first centre is operational will only cause more uncertainty and anxiety in the community.

‘If the government either does not intend to build the second centre or if they are going to build it on another site, then they should say so now.’

Disability Services Minister Helen Morton told the Eastern Reporter last month that work had begun on the Caversham centre expected to open mid 2015.

She said the decision to construct the second centre would be made after the Caversham facility was operational but that two centres would allow more flexibility.

Ms Morton said the centres would be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the number of staff dependent on the number and needs of the female and male residents aged at least 16 years old.

‘The mix of residents will be decided according to the needs of individual residents,’ she said.

‘Two centres rather than one larger centre is important for this flexibility.’

Mr Kelly said the community needed certainty.

‘Premier Colin Barnett said a few weeks ago that they ‘may’ consider an alternative site for the second centre ” possibly Graylands Hospital,’ he said.

When asked about the comment last month by the Eastern Reporter, Mr Barnett and Ms Morton refused to comment.

Mr Kelly said the community was determined to continue the argument against both centres and it was about time the government started listening.

Meanwhile, East Metropolitan Region Donna Faragher MLC welcomed the $10.6 million for capital works on a new police station in Ballajura.