By ERWIN CHLANDA
The NT Government is spending $1.3m on refurbishing the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre which Chief Minister Michael Gunner says “will be closed as recommended by the Commission”.
The Commission is the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory which has given the present and previous governments a savage caning over the way they have dealt with children.
The refurbishment – and expansion – started in mid-September at the juvenile detention centre in Alice Springs, which Families Minister Dale Wakefield staff said would be “six weeks of 24/7 tradesmen on roster”.
Yesterday, a day after Mr Gunner’s announcement about closing the facility, tradies were still going hammer and tongs on the site adjacent to the adult gaol.
Repeated requests for comment from the Alice Sprigs News Online remained unanswered. Is the public now paying for a museum of brutality rather than the much touted art gallery?
UPDATE Monday 9:40am
Minister Dale Wakefield’s office provided the following statement:
As part of our youth justice reform, it was recognised early that the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre will close. However, in the transition period – fix and make safe works are required to keep it useable and safe for the young people and workers, until new facilities are built.
No timeframe was given.