We’re living in pop-up days. Almost every time you walk through a shopping area, you’ll stumble upon a new pop-up. Great idea and one that will no doubt continue to blossom until the next fad comes along.
I have nothing against pop-ups as such, until they take the form of a juvenile justice centre. Just last week one popped up and was confirmed this week as destined to become a permanent part of the landscape in Werribee South.
So where did it pop up from? The council doesn’t know. Our state and federal representatives knew nothing about, or so they said. But this idea did not just pop up overnight like a bad toadstool.
The press release from the Andrews government claimed “close consultation with the local community”.
Tim Pallas has not covered himself in glory, either, by saying: “I will be working closely with the local community to ensure they are kept informed about the new youth justice facility and our consideration of a more extensive justice precinct in the Werribee area.” Justice precinct? When did that get put on any agenda? What else are we not being told?
According to the media release, the site was chosen because it is land owned by the government, it’s close to health and education services and there is a significant buffer between the site and residential areas.
They forgot to mention it is in a safe Labor zone, will have no far-reaching (eastern suburbs) socio-economic ramifications and it is only the western suburbs that are affected.
I feel sorry for the Wyndham council in this situation. While it has been quick to condemn the announcement, it has been shown up as a toothless body. While they may be fighting a losing battle, our community leaders must step up and provide a voice for the people.
Party politics and agendas must be shelved for the good of the people of Wyndham.
We are not a dumping ground for projects such as this – and the sooner we let those in power know, the better.
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