Debates Day 5 - 31 October 2018
Parliamentary Record 15
Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 31 October 2018 4811 in parliament about her choice regarding the new centre, saying in response to one of my questions on 22 August 2018: I was very proud to stand up with the Member for Drysdale to provide a clear location that is about focusing on rehabilitation. The people of Pinelands were understandably upset about the governments plans when they eventually heard of them. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition helped to get the word out by doorknocking every business in Pinelands over the course of a week. She provided businesses with the limited information the government had released and explained potential ramifications to businesspeople. That essentially means the opposition did the governments job in trying to consult. Weeks later the community of Pinelands arranged a community meeting on 10 October at the Free Spirit Resort. Ministers Wakefield and Moss both attended and adopted a holier-than-thou, government-knowsbest attitude. Deb Taipale from Top End Signs has been a community champion regarding this issue, as have Dennis from DJ Hire and Todd McCourt, whose family I have known for a long time. On Friday 19 October Deb met with representatives from the government who told her that the site was chosen because it was flat and cleared, and they liked this particular site because of commute times for social workers. We have added that up; we have commute times; it is flat and cleared; we have the value of the other land for residential purposes. Some of the issues with the site are in its industrial location. Anyone who has driven around Pinelands will know it is an industrial area with heavy vehicle traffic. There are no footpaths and even no plumbing. All businesses are on septic tanks. Putting a rehabilitation precinct in such a neglected area is asking for trouble. Pedestrians and small vehicles could easily get hit by larger road trains. In response to one of my questions, the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics said: The site was about proximity for visitations by families, making sure that families could access that site to visit their children. Pinelands is an industrial estate. It is not suitable for families; someone will be run over. The government is concerned about commute times for detention centre staff. The Cherry Creek centre in Victoria is half way between Melbourne and Geelong, over half an hour from each. I seek leave to table a map of that Cherry Creek site. Leave granted. Mr HIGGINS: The Cherry Creek site is nowhere near residential or industrial areas. To put it loosely, it is in the middle of a paddock. Unlike the pastures of Wyndham in Victoria, people from the rehabilitation centre might wander out of the facility and then get run over crossing the Stuart Highway on their way to the bottle shop, which is only 450 metres away. How can you place a sobering-up shelter within five minutes walk of a bottle shop? There is a family business in the neighbourhood, too: the Free Spirit Resort. Any incarcerated individuals who escape might even think this aptly-named business a good first stop once they are on the other side of the wire. The youth detention centre is also only one kilometre from residential areas against Durack Heights. The minister stated in her answer to one of my questions regarding Pinelands last week that in an area where you already have industrial use and can collocate appropriately to deliver these important workplace programs, there are opportunities for local industry to be involved. The government has just assumed that Pinelands businesses are suitable for workplace programs. They do not know if they are because they have not consulted with any of the businesses and, again, just presumed. In the Adelaide centre at Cavan, all the training programs are undertaken in-house despite the facility being near industrial areas as well. As far as I understand, all training takes place in the centre at world-class facilities, not in the industrial sites nearby. There is no co-location of workplace programs in industrial estates. This claim by government is unfounded. There are any number of greenfield sites in the greater Darwin region that are already zoned as community purpose, as Don Dale is. One only has to look on the Land Information System and see all the available community purpose land. You are choosing the Pinelands site because it is flat, cleared and it is not too far
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