Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Former Treasurer; Attorney General

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    State Budget 2012-13: Supporting our community - Better justice for people with intellectual disability

    12/05/2012 12:00 AM
    • Nearly $18m to create declared places for people with intellectual or cognitive disability who are not fit to plead
    • Major social and legal issue confronting the WA community addressed
    The Liberal-National Government will establish Western Australia’s first declared place to house people with intellectual or cognitive disability who have been accused but not convicted of a crime.

    In the 2012-13 State Budget, the Government has committed $11.3million over four years to establish two 10-bed disability justice centres and a prison in-reach program in the Perth metropolitan area, with another $6.4million from the Disability Services Commission (DSC).

    New legislation will also be introduced to allow the DSC to operate the secure centres, with a focus on rehabilitation and training, in a community, home-like environment.

    Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said the key challenge was to find a balance between protecting the community and safeguarding the human rights of people who were among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the community.

    “Legislation has always allowed for a declared place in WA, but successive governments have avoided dealing with this important social issue that has caused concern across the community until now,” Mrs Morton said.

    Based on world’s best practice, the Minister said the specialist centres would be managed and operated by the DSC in close liaison with the Mentally Impaired Accused Review Board to ensure people were suitably placed, regularly reviewed and could return to the community when appropriate.

    “In-reach prison support will provide therapeutic interventions and developmental opportunities for people with intellectual disability or cognitive disability who remain in the prison system,” she said.

    Attorney General Christian Porter said the Liberal-National Government was the first Government in WA to commit to addressing this issue.

    “This initiative is a significant milestone for the management and housing of people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities who are not fit to plead,” Mr Porter said.

          Fact File

    • Locations will be announced after community awareness is complete
    • 2 centres will allow for flexible management of people of different ages, gender and culture, each with differing support needs
    • Centres will be culturally appropriate and provide services for people with varying needs, including high-level support
    Minister's office - 6552 6900