An ambitious plan to fast-track the construction of a new youth remand facility has been laid out Wacol, bolstering the state’s detention capacity and improving access to support services for young people in detention.
Backed by a substantial investment of $250 million, the facility will be a critical addition to the existing youth detention infrastructure.
Early works on this state-of-the-art facility are set to commence October 2023, with a rapid build construction approach in place to ensure the first stage of the project is completed by 2024. The location of the new facility will be on land owned by the Queensland Police Service (QPS), situated near the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.
Construction and Design Innovation
The Queensland Police Service is taking the lead in the construction of this facility, working closely with the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business, and Training to ensure it meets the highest standards and is specifically designed for individuals held in custody.
With the capacity to accommodate approximately 50 young people, the facility will feature common exercise areas and offer access to educational, medical, and therapeutic resources within the adjacent detention complex.
What makes this project unique is the utilisation of rapid build technology and a modular design to expedite the construction process. The Queensland Police Service has already engaged experienced consultants specialising in the design and construction of large-scale modular correctional facilities, ensuring that the project progresses efficiently.
Operation and Purpose
Upon completion, the Wacol facility will be operated by the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business, and Training and will exclusively house young people in detention until the new youth detention centres in Woodford and Cairns become operational. This significant development will help address the critical need for enhanced detention capacity and the delivery of much-needed services for young people in the criminal justice system.
“Our government is listening, and we are acting. There is nothing more important than keeping the community safe, and we know we need more detention capacity,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “This youth remand centre will provide best-practice services to young people who have found themselves on the wrong path so early in life.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan emphasised the importance of community safety.
“The fast-track plans for a new youth remand facility means we can quickly increase detention capacity while ensuring we are providing appropriate services for young people in detention. It will reduce the need for young people to be held in watchhouses while they are awaiting placement in a detention centre while also enabling improved access to support resources and services.”
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll also highlighted the advantages of the facility’s location.
“The QPS Wacol precinct is an ideal location to build this facility as it is located right next to the current youth detention centre, allowing for easy access to a range of government services. The facility will significantly boost watchhouse capacity for the QPS into the future, which is a good outcome for operational staff and prisoners held in police custody.”
With this new youth remand facility, the Queensland government aims to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in the justice system while enhancing community safety and the capacity to address youth crime effectively. Early works on the project signal the state’s commitment to rapid progress in this crucial area.