Youth Justice Facility – why not try Fulham?
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, has called on the Andrews Labor Government to consider locating a new youth justice facility next to the existing Fulham Prison near Sale.
Mr O’Brien said with the Werribee South community in uproar over the proposal to build a new youth SuperMax facility there, there was a chance the government could look at a community that would be more welcoming.
“Labor has botched this entire issue from start to finish and now the process for a new youth jail has been hampered by a complete lack of consultation with the Werribee community.
“We already have an existing medium security prison at Fulham and there is vacant land adjacent to that prison that could potentially be the site of a new youth facility.
“There would be synergies with the existing prison and the State Government would find a community that is accustomed to having prisons its midst. Sale has had a prison for well over 100 years.”
Mr O’Brien said that if the Labor Government came to Sale and had a genuine, open dialogue with the community, he suspects it would likely win support.
“We need jobs in our area, particularly with the impending closure of Hazelwood and other economic challenges and we have a ready-made workforce of people who could step-up and provide the staff, teachers and other suppliers that would be needed in a youth justice facility.
"The existing prison provides 250 local jobs and injects about $30 million per annum into the local economy, including through the provision of locally sourced goods and services.
“While not everyone would be happy with such an idea, a youth justice facility would be no more adverse for the community than the existing prison.
“I am all about jobs for our community and I would welcome the Labor Government having a conversation with Sale and surrounds about establishing a new youth jail at Fulham.”