State Govt has miscalculated on need for centre: MLA

BASSENDEAN MLA Dave Kelly is “shocked” the disability justice centre has only two residents and says it shows the demand for the centre is lower than the State Government anticipated.

Mr Kelly said it appeared the whole concept might be wrong.

“Like most people I am surprised that a centre that cost $8.47 million to build has only two residents,” he said. “It says to me that the demand for the centre is much less than the government thought.

“This is a further indication of how badly planned this whole project has been. Having one centre for offenders from all over the state may not have been right after all.”

Mr Kelly said because the centre was so close to schools and homes, the community should know how many offenders were in there and what they had been charged with.

“The more secrecy there is, the more anxious the locals will be,” he said. “I have no problems with the inmates being offered rehabilitation services in the centre but people are justified in being concerned if that includes visiting local shops and other facilities.”

Mr Kelly said centre was even more imposing than he thought it would be. “It is not set back and it is very close to homes,” he said.

“I think the Premier is wrong when he says the community will be happy with the centre now it’s built.

“People will still be unhappy for the same reasons his government didn’t build the centre on the sites chosen in Cottesloe and Dalkeith.

“The government should have stuck to its original criteria of ‘not close to schools’ and ‘not close to residents’.”