Work on detention centre under fire

Fisheries Minsiter Dave Kelly.
Fisheries Minsiter Dave Kelly.

He said the State Government had demolished the existing Disability Services Commission (DSC) building on the site and started developing the centre without the Declared Places (Mentally Impaired Accused) Bill 2013 enacted.

Mr Kelly said it was an example of Premier Colin Barnett’s ‘arrogant disregard’ for proper process.

‘The government is spending nearly $10 million to build a disability detention centre that would stand idle if the enabling legislation is rejected by the Parliament,’ he said.

‘A detention centre of this type has never been built in Western Australia before, that’s why new legislation is needed.

‘If you think the public have a right to be heard on this, then Parliament should be able to debate it before taxpayers’ money is spent.

‘This is not a few thousand dollars for a scoping project; it is a multi-million dollar building project.’

Acting Disability Services Minister John Day said the legislation was introduced into Parliament in October with bipartisan support for both the Bill and the need for declared places.

‘The legislation will give the DSC the authority to own and operate a declared place and provide appropriate supports and services to the centre residents,’ he said.

‘Badge Construction took possession of the Lord Street, Caversham, site on June 19 and construction is under way.

‘It is anticipated the centre, which will accommodate no more than 10 people, will be operational in mid-2015.’

It is expected the Bill will be debated in Parliament on Thursday, August 14.

Mr Kelly said even if passed by the Legislative Assembly, the bill still needed to be passed by Legislative Council and may not be passed this year.