Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for CORRECTIONS, Ms ARCHER
The Ashley Youth Detention Centre is a 51-bed facility and service infrastructure located on 32 hectares of cleared land adjacent to the Bass Highway. In three years' time, Ashley will finally close its doors as a place of abuse and sadness for young people.
The Brushy Rivulet Reserve outside of Westbury has significant natural values which the state Government has legally committed to the Commonwealth it will protect in perpetuity. It is also a rocky, high fire risk area nowhere near gas, electricity, water or suitable road infrastructure. Will you commit to having a conversation with the Deloraine people about repurposing the Ashley site into a modern, therapeutic facility and remand centre?
Mr Speaker, I thank Dr Woodruff for her question, a rather obvious question, as we have all been out doing media everybody is speculating about this point. I will clarify for members in this House, following the announcement last Thursday, that the Ashley Youth Detention Centre will be closed and the Premier has outlined in his answer today the reasons for that.
Yesterday, my colleagues and I have discussed the potential use of the site for the northern correctional facility. Importantly, whilst discussions have occurred, no decision has been made. I make that clear: that no decision has been made. Our priority has been on the closure of Ashley and the transition pathway to a more therapeutic model of care for our young people to be provided at two new locations, in the north and the south of the state. The minister for Children has been tasked to prepare that transition plan which the Government will consider in coming weeks.
The Government will now consider the potential future use of the current Ashley site further and any decisions would need to consider a range of factors including community engagement.