Richard Court deliberately misled the people during Tuesday night's `Great Debate' by claiming the Government had closed down the only metropolitan juvenile rehabilitation centre.
Standing in front of the Rangeview juvenile remand centre today, Youth Justice Minister Eric Ripper said the state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility gave the lie to Mr Court's claims.
Rangeview was just one of many juvenile rehabilitation facilities opened by the Government in the past decade.
"The closure claim can only be a reference to Hillston, which was closed ten years ago after the recommendation of the Edwards inquiry - commissioned by the then Liberal Government," Mr Ripper said.
"Hillston was closed because of community outrage at the number of absconders, and it was hardly an ideal example of a rehabilitation facility. Rangeview will be equipped to rehabilitate young people as thoroughly as is possible behind walls."
The Minister said the past two years had seen a period of unprecedented reform in juvenile rehabilitation, with the creation of projects such as the Warramaia work-farm, the Lake Jasper Aboriginal project in the South-West, outback stations to rehabilitate young offenders, and compulsory trade courses in juvenile detention.
Mr Ripper said that on the other hand, the Opposition's own costings also made no allowance for any new rehabilitation centres.
The failure to provide any funds at all flew in the face of Mr Court's debate promise of one rehabilitation centre in the metropolitan area and one in the country.
"The Opposition leader is also at odds with his police spokesman George Cash about the number of new juvenile rehabilitation facilities."
Mr Ripper said the Opposition's confused and uncosted election promises about juvenile rehabilitation centres have left what could be about an $80 million hole in their planned budget.
"Mr Cash's scenario represents a funding commitment of about $80 million over four years, including construction and running costs (and this is a conservative estimate), if they are to build proper facilities such as Rangeview," Mr Ripper said.
"Mr Court's commitment would cost about $40 million, but no allowance for either position has been made in the Opposition's costings of election commitments."