Government Drug and Alcohol Prison Slammed Over Lack of Model, Business Case

The Liberal Party has criticised the State Government over a dedicated drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison, over its operating model or knowledge of the costs.

Shadow Corrective Services Minister Peter Katsambanis said the McGowan Government’s plan for a dedicated drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison is in disarray claiming Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan did not know what treatment model would be used or cost of housing prisoners.

“The Labor Party announced during the election it would repurpose the 80-bed Wandoo Reintegration Facility into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison but now admits it had no idea what the cost or benefits of that would be,” Mr Katsambanis said.

“Mr Logan said during the Estimates hearings that even though no business case had ever been developed for the new facility, it would proceed because it was an election commitment.”

Mr Katsambanis said he had no confidence in Budget costings, the government’s ability to meet its July 2018 opening target or effectiveness of treatment of prisoners.

“Mr Logan admitted that keeping and treating prisoners in the new rehabilitation prison would be more expensive, however the Budget makes provision only for funding at the cost of keeping prisoners in the existing facility,” he said.

“The Government is forging ahead with this commitment without having a proven treatment model to ensure prisoners are being helped and will not be the subjects of an experiment resulting from an election thought bubble.”

He said while the Government aimed to have the prison open by July 2018, it faced a “number of complications.”

However, Mr Logan said it was clear the State Government was on track to open the nation’s first alcohol and drug treatment prison despite the Opposition’s criticisms.

“It is extraordinary for the Liberal party to make any claims about treating the terrible scourge of methamphetamine considering it was their failure to stop Western Australia becoming Australia’s meth capital.”

He said it was ridiculous “to be lectured on business cases” by the Liberal Party he said was “renowned for not only its lack of business cases for major projects but clearly its shocking financial management.”

“The costings for the project have been the subject of discussion between the department and treasury, and have been examined by the expenditure review committee as part of the Budget process,” Mr Logan said.

“I believe that the transformation of Wandoo to a drug rehabilitation prison will be met within the existing budget parameters.”

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