Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    New prison will set benchmark for needs of Aboriginal offenders

    16/04/2008 12:00 AM

    Plans for the West Kimberley Prison are progressing well with architects now engaged, surveyors on site, one community advisory group established and another in the advanced planning stages.


    Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk today visited the prison site, six kilometres south of Derby, to deliver a project update.


    “As I have said all along, I am determined that this facility will be different from existing prisons in WA,” Ms Quirk said.


    “It is being designed to specifically meet the needs of Aboriginal offenders, setting a benchmark for future prisons and the management of Aboriginal prisoners.


    “Two architectural companies have joined forces for this project: The Architectural Group (TAG) and Iredale, Pederson, Hook (IPH).


    “TAG has extensive experience in designing custodial facilities, while IPH have worked extensively in the Kimberley designing Aboriginal community housing.


    “Together, I have confidence in them fulfilling the vision for this prison.”


    The prison’s 50ha site will be surrounded by an extensive buffer zone and will have a minimal visual impact on the surrounding area and the Derby town site.


    “The site will not be cleared entirely; we have surveyors currently identifying which trees need to be preserved for both cultural significance and to be used for shade,” the Minister said.


    “Community input into the process continues to be an integral part of this project, with two special community groups established to provide advice to the Department of Corrective Services about the cultural requirements of the future prison population and to inform Derby locals about the new development.


    “The Derby Community Reference Group is up and running and I had my first meeting with the group this morning.


    “It will focus on the need to inform Derby residents of the development and to consider ways in which they can positively contribute to the new facility.


    “Nominations for the second group, the Kimberley Cultural Advisory Group, close on Friday.


    “This group will reflect the requirements of the facility to be culturally aware and sensitive to the needs of a predominately Aboriginal prison population.


    “It will provide advice on cultural protocols, local practices and culturally appropriate services and programs with representatives from across the region.


    “This $93million commitment by the Western Australian Government to improving custodial services in the Kimberley will be the first prison in Australia designed, constructed and operated to meet the unique cultural needs of Aboriginal people.”


    The facility will accommodate 150 prisoners of varying security classifications, with separate areas for men and women.


    Minister's Office - 9213 7000