State urged to think again over location of special need housing

Following a meeting with Mental Health Minister Helen Morton, Mr Moore said he remained unconvinced the facilities were appropriately located.

‘I understand the need for these types of facilities, but I cannot support the plan to build them in a high-density residential area, particularly on land so close to schools,’ he said.

‘These types of facilities should be located in areas where prisons or mental health buildings already exist.’

Ms Morton said the decision had been made and that the Government believed these centres were needed in Perth.

‘These need to be community-based and not at a prison site,’ she said. ‘These are small-scale and secure and will be across two sites for flexibility and to make sure it’s not institutional.’

Mr Moore said while the people who would be housed in the facilities had a right to a secure environment, local residents who live in the area also had the right to live without their amenity affected by the effects of having the facilities in their backyard.

‘Given the vast amounts of state-owned land and the selective planning criteria I, and local residents, find it difficult to accept the decision that Lockridge and Kiara are the best and only locations to develop these facilities,’ he said.

Federal Labor candidate for Perth Alannah MacTiernan agreed and said it was unreasonable to put these two facilities in the one area without a transparent process where all options were canvassed and public submissions made on them.

‘I think we need an independent assessment of where these places are, what the parameters are and then look at all possibilities in the metropolitan area and have a totally transparent process determining where they go,’ she said.

‘It’s the Liberal Government that made the decision to put these facilities there and decide to move them from [the original locations of] Herne Hill and Kenwick and dump them here.’