The Special Operations Unit at the Canning Vale prison complex will not be developed as a minimum security prison, Assisting Justice Minister Kevin Minson said today.
Mr Minson said he had received the community working party's report on the issue and had upheld its key recommendation that the project not go ahead.
The Minister, who met with the working party today, praised the group's work, saying its report was comprehensive and professional and an outstanding example of the community and Government working together.
"Apart from documenting the community's concerns with the idea of a prison in the area, the report sets out a number of options for the SOU's future use as it agrees a major Government asset cannot remain unused," Mr Minson said.
"The days of governments not consulting sufficiently with the community on issues which concern them are long gone and, in this instance, the discussion process has worked very well indeed."
Mr Minson has asked the Ministry of Justice to look at two of the options outlined by the report.
The options include:
· using the area as a training facility for prison officers and other Ministry of Justice personnel; and -
· transferring a number of branches from expensive central business district locations to Canning Vale such as program branches, health services and prisoner placement.
Mr Minson said the 45 beds which would have been provided by converting the SOU to a minimum security prison would be compensated for by additions to other prisons with minimum security sections.
These included an extra 50 beds through the upgrading of the Roebourne Prison and the Bunbury Regional Prison, where $500,000 had been allocated from this year's Budget to provide another 20 cells.
The community working party comprised community members, the mayors of the Cities of Canning and Gosnells and was chaired by Jandakot MLA Mike Board.
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