Heat on detention centre

THE Brighton area has been listed as the potential site for a new youth detention facility.

In a bid to reform Tasmania’s youth justice system, the Government has revealed two preferred sites for the facility to replace the controversial Ashley Detention Centre at Deloraine.

In the past few days public feedback sessions have been held in Brighton at Risdon Vale.

The two preferred sites being assessed are a 20.48ha site on the Heritage Highway at 466 Brighton Road and a 11.78ha site located at 972 East Derwent Highway Risdon, just opposite the entrance to the Bowen Bridge.

A mix of opinions were heard from a few locals at the drop-in session at Brighton Memorial Hall last week.

One local said the new facility would significantly devalue their property.

“If we want to downsize and move, to sell that property we would have to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Marie Davey, who lives on Brighton Road with her husband, Ray.

“The Government likes that partic- ular block size because it is capable of expansion.

“It might start out accommodating 10 people in three years’ time it’ll be 30 and it could fill up the whole area.

“From where they want to put it is an eight-minute walk to the centre of Brighton so it’s going to impact more than just us.”

The couple said the detention centre would have an impact on them as they lived so close to the site.

“They reckon it’s not going to have an effect on us the lighting, the fences, the razor wires,” said Mr Davey. “At the moment we haven’t got any of that.’’

They said that the event was very low key and secretive saying they had only been given a month or two notice for consultation.

“We’ve been kept in the dark a bit.

“They’re going to put it there regardless of what people think,’’ Mrs Davey said.

“There’s no bus routes going this way either, so people that don’t have cars are going to find it hard to go up and see their children.”

Raylene Foster, who has been part of the Dysart community since she was young, supports the potential move.

“Kids can see futures if we can do that sort of rehabilitation in the community.

“Call it a detention centre, whatever it might be, but these are our kids who just need a little bit of a helping hand whatever that might be.”

She said if the new facility could stay true to the therapeutic model that was proposed, then it would be a better solution to the current detention model.

“That notion of jail where you lock them up and throw away the key, you don’t need more jails you just need a place where people can go in there and get some support.

“They’re trying to provide a place where people can get their lives back on track.”