At least 30,000 people have signed a petition opposing the location of the proposed Hoppers Lane youth detention centre.
And the Speak Out group is expected to officially release the date of a second rally later this week once permits have been put in place.
Speak Out – Wyndham’s Voice president Lisa Heinrichs said the group was continuing to count signatures, and was confident at least 30,000 people had put their names to the petition, which will be tabled in Parliament later this month.
Wyndham mayor Henry Barlow said the council had narrowed down alternative sites for the youth prison to a couple of undisclosed locations.
In Parliament last week, opposition families and children spokesman Georgie Crozier issued the government a two-week deadline to produce the business case for the Hoppers Lane location in full.
“I know that the government have been speaking to community members and said that they would provide a summary of the business case, but if you go back to the debate about the east–west link, the Premier, then opposition leader, said that was not good enough,” Ms Crozier said.
“He did not want a summary – he wanted the full thing. Well, you cannot have it both ways.”
Werribee MP Tim Pallas told Star Weekly the government was having “continuing and considerable” discussions with Wyndham council about the issue.
When asked about consultation with the wider community, Mr Pallas said: “It has already started with community representatives. I’ve participated in one discussion, there will be further discussions.
“Representatives of the department have met with council representatives. I don’t know how else you [fulfil] an obligation to consult with the community other than to meet with their representatives and we’ll continue to do that.
“I think the government has heard [the residents’] concerns – we take them genuinely.
“This is not simply an exercise of having a one-way conversation with the community.
“I want them to appreciate that, as the local member, I’ve heard their concerns loud and clear, and we’re in the process of trying to work through just what constitutes a fair and reasonable response to that.”