Protests unheeded

At a council meeting last Wednesday, City staff said there had been 377 objections to the Lord Street centre.

The application was refused by councillors because the centre would be too close to schools, community facilities and residential properties.

But in State Parliament last Thursday, Premier Colin Barnett ignored the City of Swan and local residents, indicating the facility would go ahead.

Questioned by Bassendean MLA David Kelly and Wanneroo MLA Margaret Quirk, Mr Barnett said: ‘The Government has taken note of the City of Swan’s view. Our intention is to proceed with the first of those locations, which I think is the Lord Street site.

‘When that is completed, we will consider whether we will progress to the second one.’

A second centre has been proposed for Kiara.

When asked by Midland MLA Michelle Roberts if that meant he was ignoring the City of Swan, Mr Barnett said: ‘It made its resolution and we take note of that’.

City of Swan councillor David Lucas said at the October 15 council meeting that he fully supported residents in their opposition to the centre and understood their concerns.

‘I want to commend them and support them as much as I can, all the way,’ he said.

Cr Ted Williams urged councillors to say ‘no’ more often and stand up to the Government.

Deputy Mayor Mick Wainwright said the council did not support the proposal and did not believe consultation with local residents had been adequate.

Altone Ward resident Yvonne Caldwell said the Government was playing russian roulette with the community if the facility went ahead.

‘We do not want to be guinea pigs and our questions to Colin Barnett and Minister for Mental Health and Disability Services Helen Morton have gone unanswered and fobbed off to other Ministers,’ she said.

Her neighbour Connie Drew said she was concerned the centre had been incorrectly labelled and was in fact a high-security facility that needed to be labelled as a custodial centre.

‘There is a lack of appropriate high-risk security if they play up,’ she said.

Another resident, Julie Saunders, said she believed the State Government had treated the people of Lockridge with contempt.