General News — 16 May 2014

Canberra’s new secure mental health unit will be given planning priority under new laws put forward by the ACT Government.

The Government plans to build a 25-bed facility for low and medium security patients on the former Quamby Youth Detention Centre site in Symonston.

Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell today introduced a bill to the Legislative Assembly to fast track the plans.

“There can be delay in the progress of development if it is necessary to go through the Territory Plan variation process, which can take up to 18 months to complete and appeal processes which can take months or even years,” he said.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says there is an immediate need for the facility .

“The ACT performs well in the provision of mental health services to the Canberra community but the secure mental health unit is the remaining missing piece of the puzzle,” she said.Signage and construction workers

“This project will also provide opportunities for new jobs in the ACT construction sector which will help to support the local economy.”

The assembly supported building the facility last August and agreed the project should be fast tracked.

“While the Government is seeking to make the delivery of the secure mental health unit as seamless as possible, community engagement will remain a key part of the process to make sure all local residents and interested Canberrans have their say about design and construction details,” Ms Gallagher said.

Construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2015.

This article first appeared on ‘Yahoo7′ on 15 May 2014.


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