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Youth Justice Centre “a dangerous place to work”

September 14, 2023 7:15 am in by
Cherry Creek Youth Justice Centre (supplied)

Four workers at Victoria’s new Youth Justice Centre at Cherry Creek have been assaulted in the past week, just a month after the facility began taking inmates.

The $419 million 130-bed facility opened its doors in August after lengthy delays, with the first attack on staff recorded within days.

According to the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) there are currently only ten detainees at the centre, with several facing murder charges.

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Spokeswoman Julie McKeown said workers faced real danger on a daily basis.

“Who would want to come to work each day if they knew that the prospect of being assaulted is a very real one?” she asked.

“(The Department of Justice) has had a significant lead-up time to get this right.”

The department admitted there had been “some incidents of unrest” as detainees “settle in” to the centre, but said it was monitoring the situation to identify areas that may need improvement.

The Cherry Creek facility, situated between Werribee and Little River, includes dedicated health and mental health units, classrooms, a vocational centre, spiritual and cultural spaces and gardens, with “views of the You Yangs mountain range” according to the Justice Department website.

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It was designed to replace the troubled Parkville and Malmsbury centres, although the government has since reversed its decision to close Parkville.

The centre was originally planned for Wyndham’s tourist and market gardens precinct at Werribee South, however local outrage forced the Andrews government to find an alternative site.

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