Don Dale to close, new detention centre at Pinelands

The NT Government has picked a new site for a youth detention facility so it can close the now notorious Don Dale centre.

The new “Darwin Rehabilitation Precinct” will incorporate the new Darwin Youth Justice Centre, as well as an Alcohol and Rehabilitation Centre. 

The proposed location is Government owned land at Lot 67, Hundred of Bagot, Pinelands.

The 56ha site sits between the Stuart Highway and Tiger Brennan Drive.

Relocating these services from Berrimah – where Don Dale and the sobering up shelter are currently located - preserves that area for future developments more suited to residential uses, and separates potential conflicting land uses such as school sites. 

It will enable this valuable land to be used for more residential living in the future that is close to proposed community use facilities and services. 

The development of the Pinelands site into a Rehabilitation Precinct will allow future opportunities for service providers, training providers and businesses to collaborate and potentially co-locate there or the nearby light industrial area. 

Before construction commences, public comment will be invited through the rezoning and development consent processes.

Construction of the new Youth Justice Centre is expected to start mid-2019. 

The Government is investing $229.6 million over the next five years to continue the overhaul of the child protection and youth justice systems, and implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT.

Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield: “The Territory Labor Government is fixing the Territory’s broken youth justice system to create safer communities and get young people on the right path and away from a life of crime.

“People who do the wrong thing must face the consequences because all Territorians have the right to be safe. But we need to make sure people get back on the right track – not become lifelong criminals.

“The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT report stated that Don Dale is not fit to put young people back on the right path, and that it needed to close. The infrastructure is not-fit-for purpose – this has been more than evident over the past few months. 

“The Government in investing $70 million for two new youth justice centres in Darwin and Alice Springs. The new youth justice centres will be more secure, fit-for-purpose, and focused on putting at-risk young people back on the right path.

“We are undertaking the most comprehensive overhaul of the youth justice system in Northern Territory history with $230 million to be invested over the next five years to roll out our reforms.”

Infrastructure, Planning & Logistics Minister Eva Lawler said: “Before Government can progress the construction of the new Darwin Rehabilitation Precinct, public comment will be invited through the rezoning and development consent processes.”

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