Progress on a new prison facility for the West Kimberley region is continuing, with the announcement today of the preferred site.
Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk said the site, approximately six kilometres south of the Derby town centre, was determined after several factors were assessed.
“They included Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage issues, the environment, geology, hydrology and services infrastructure,” Ms Quirk said.
The identified site is at Lot 1434 Derby Highway and is bounded by the Derby-Gibb River Road to the north, Derby Highway to the west and Mowanjun Community to the east.
“The preferred site for the prison is in the south of this block, with access from the Derby Highway,” the Minister said.
”One of the benefits of this site is that the future prison will have a minimal visual impact on the surrounding area and the Derby townsite, and includes an extensive buffer zone.”
In securing the site, the Department of Corrective Services will work closely with the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley and the Department for Planning and Infrastructure to reach a satisfactory resolution of Native Title and planning issues.
The department will also continue to ensure that the development takes into account the historical and cultural significance of the nearby Derby Town Commonage.
“The next stage in the process is designing the prison,” Ms Quirk said.
“I am determined that this facility will be different from existing prisons in Western Australia.
“It will be designed to specifically meet the needs of Aboriginal offenders, setting a bench mark for future prisons and the management of Aboriginal prisoners.”
The tender for the architects has recently closed and an announcement on the successful contractor will be made shortly.
“Local residents will continue to be updated on the progress of the West Kimberley Prison project and their engagement will be sought,” the Minister said.
“A Department of Corrective Services project officer will be based in Derby in the New Year to answer questions about the prison.
“This $93million commitment by the Western Australian Government to improving custodial services in the Kimberley, is an exciting step in custodial services for the region.
“I am confident it will boost community safety and offer more meaningful, effective rehabilitation for offenders.”
Minister's office: 9213 7000