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Liberals will keep Ashley open

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
A re-elected majority Hodgman Liberal Government will keep the Ashley Youth Detention Centre (AYDC) open on its current site, protecting jobs in the local community.

We will invest $7.28 million into a major redesign and upgrade of thea facility, to make it fit for purpose, and continue to improve the model of care, as part of a modern, integrated state-wide therapeutic youth justice model.

Upgrading AYDC is one of the options canvassed in the Noetic report which I am also releasing today.

I want to be clear that while Noetic’s preferred option was the construction of two purpose built detention facilities in Hobart and in Launceston, we have decided to reject that in favour of the major redesign and upgrade of AYDC option.

In making this decision, we have sought to balance the needs of youth offenders with the importance of the AYDC facility and its 60 jobs to the Deloraine community.

In contrast, Labor has made it clear that if elected they will close Ashley, with the opposition Leader telling the Australian newspaper that she would close and “repurpose” the Ashley site.*

While the detention of young people is a last resort, it is an unfortunate reality that some young people do need to be detained in a youth justice facility if they commit serious offences and receive a custodial sentence.

A re-elected Hodgman Liberal Government will also undertake further investigation into other options raised in the Noetic report, including –
- the introduction of bail support programs, including accommodation support such as secure welfare options, to reduce reoffending while on bail, allowing low-risk offenders to remain in the community; and
- expanding sentencing options to include a remand order for young people to have residential drug or mental health treatment for a mandated period.

The Noetic Report is available here:

*The Australian, 15/1/18