Secure care facility opened in Alice


The secure care facility initially intended to be built in a rural residential neighborhood on the Ross River Highway, sparking an outcry of nearby residents, has now been completed near the Alice Springs gaol on the South Stuart Highway.
The first two residents are about to move in.
The 16-bed complex will be for adults only – children will be housed in an identical facility in Darwin, and Health Minister Robyn Lambley says travel arrangements for visitors are being worked out.
Both complexes – total cost $12.4m – were intended by the previous government to house adults and youths but this would have created “both a security risk and a duty of care risk, particularly to juvenile clients,” says Ms Lambley.
The new facilities will end or reduce the need to accommodate mental health and disability clients in gaols.
According to the legislation being drafted, someone fulfils the criteria for involuntary treatment and care if the person is an adult; has a disability; has a complex cognitive impairment; is engaging in repetitive conduct of high risk behaviour likely to cause harm to himself or herself or to someone else; is likely to suffer serious mental or physical deterioration; has the capacity to benefit from goal-oriented therapeutic services in a secure care facility; can participate in treatment and care in a secure care facility; and there is no less restrictive way of ensuring the person receives the treatment and care.
Photos: Yard with gazebo: The cylindrical top of the fences rotates, making climbing over it more difficult. • The TV room. • A room with padded walls and floor. • The complex.



  1. Having visited the complex, even twice, I can say it is very much “gaol like” rather than home like as it was intended to be.
    The care and treatment that disabled clients may receive is meant to improve their quality of life. I can only say “So help me God!”


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