Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    Minister gives assurances on community safety

    6/01/2016 4:50 PM
    • Disability Services Minister meets with neighbours of Disability Justice Centre 

    A delegation of community members from suburbs surrounding the Bennett Brook Disability Justice Centre today received assurances from Disability Services Minister Helen Morton that she understands their concerns around safety, following a recent incident when two men absconded from the centre.


    "I had a very good meeting with 12 members of the Lockridge/Caversham community and local Labor members who expressed their concerns regarding security at the centre," Mrs Morton said.


    "Again, I reiterated that the very cautious approach being taken over the past four months to taking residents into the centre has ensured community safety has not been put at risk."


    The Minister said she was disappointed she had not been able to put peoples' minds at rest as to the minimal risk residents of the centre posed to the public.


    "I accept that not providing the community with information about the two men who absconded from the centre has resulted in a situation where speculation is rife," she said.


    "I have agreed that I will consider what level of information can be provided and how this could best be communicated to the local community if a resident absconds from the centre in the future.


    "I assured the delegation that there were measures put in place at the centre immediately after the incident and that a further review will identify any additional security initiatives that can be implemented."


    Mrs Morton was presented with a list of short and long-term measures the delegation would like her to consider with regards to the future of the centre.


    "I have agreed to consider all of the measures presented and will meet with a further delegation in a fortnight," she said.


    Fact File

    • The Bennett Brook Disability Justice Centre operates in accordance with the Declared Places (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 2015, which authorises the Disability Services Commission to operate the centre
    • The Mentally Impaired Accused Review Board makes recommendations to the Minister for Disability Services about the suitability of people for placement in the centre
    • The centre is located at a property which has been used by the Disability Services Commission to support people with intellectual disability for more than three decades   

    Minister's office - 6552 6900