The Hoppers Lane site originally earmarked for the state government’s new youth prison was one of two locations seriously considered, a summary of the business case has revealed.
Released this morning, the case for the original youth detention site shows that the state government looked at 16 different locations – including four regional locations – for the facility, before narrowing it down to Werribee South and an undisclosed location in metropolitan Melbourne.
“Of the sites assessed it was concluded that a site in western or northern Melbourne would perform best in terms of existing employee accessibility,” the summary reads.
“Regional locations were found to be unsuitable given the operational constraints imposed by a location that was distant to core supporting services and harder to access for youth justice staff and young people’s families.
“This is because there is a statutory obligation on the department to ensure young offenders’ prospects of rehabilitation through access to family visits.”
The summary states that the other location considered was discounted because there were a number of factors that would have slowed down the development process, including the site in question being privately owned by multiple parties, being partially flood prone, and being smaller in size.
The summary did not disclose the locations of any other sites considered, citing commercial sensitivities.
The release of the summary follows this morning’s state government announcement that it would no longer build the youth detention centre at the Hoppers Lane site, instead opting for another parcel of land along Wests Road in Werribee.