Caloundra locals can have their say on plans to repurpose the existing Caloundra watchhouse to a new, short-term youth remand centre.
Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard said plans to repurpose the building, which is an operational watchhouse and can currently hold adults and young people who have been arrested by police, needed to be part of a community discussion to ensure everyone knew the facts.
“Since it was open, the watchhouse has been able to accommodate both adults and young people who have come to the attention of police,” Ms Linard said.
“It will now be used just for young people.
“This is the same building, in the same location – right next to the police station.
“Instead of a mixture of adults and young people that could be held in there, it will just be young people.
“This is about ensuring young people who have come to the attention of police, have been deemed by a court to be a risk to community safety and who shouldn’t be on the streets are held in custody until the courts can deal with them.
“This facility will only be used for short periods of time as required.”
Ms Linard said the Palaszczuk Government had recently introduced youth justice reforms to make it easier to hold recidivist offenders to account and for them to be held in custody.
“We know 10% off offenders account for around half of all youth crime,” she said.
“We are cracking down on that 10% who ignore attempts at early intervention.
“That means we need to ensure they can be appropriately detained and a facility that already can hold adults and young people would need minimal work as there is a minimal change in its use.”
Ms Linard said police had advised that the repurposing of the facility could occur without impacting on QPS operations.
Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt welcomed community input on the short-term remand centre.
“If you live close to the existing watchhouse, we want to inform you about what we are planning and how little change will be visible given its current use as a watchhouse,” he said.
There will be a further community comment period before a final planning decision is made.