2025 is the year construction on a facility to replace the Ashley Youth Detention Centre will begin, the state government have announced.
A preferred site in Pontville, next to the Midland Highway, will become home the new facility, which will be one of the many implementations made following the Commission of Inquiry (COI) over the next five-and-a-half years.
However, Independent MLC Meg Webb expressed concerns about the distant closure date.
“I don’t accept that the timelines laid out around the closure of Ashley are once we need to live with,” she said.
“I think we need to be giving much higher priority to protecting children from that environment.”
The government’s ‘Keeping Children Safe and Rebuilding Trust’ response to the COI includes a signed statement of commitment from every government minister and the secretaries of every government department.
In total, the commission presented 191 recommendations, which will be addressed in three phases, each with its own set of deadlines.
“This is the most important work of our government to date and going forward,” Attorney-General Guy Barnett said.
“83% will be completed by 1 July 2026. That’s 158 recommendations of the 191 recommendations.”
The first 48 recommendations are scheduled for completion by July 2024, followed by 110 under Phase Two by July 2026 and the remaining 33 under Phase Three by July 2029.
By mid-2026, a memorial will be established to honor victim-survivors who endured abuse at Ashley.
The government has also committed to the recommendation that former Ashley detainees will not be housed at the redeveloped facility unless they specifically request it.