The new $86 million Armadale justice complex will take almost a year longer to construct than the $1.27 billion Perth stadium once it is completed.
That is according to the estimated time frame announced by Premier Colin Barnett on Monday.
Mr Barnett joined Police Minister Liza Harvey and Attorney General Michael Mischin at the complex’s future site between South West Highway and Church Street in Armadale.
The new facility would increase the number of courtrooms from two to five and accommodate up to 315 police officers, a big increase on the 80 officers currently working from the police station.
Mr Barnett said money had already been spent on land acquisition and planning and $79 million would be spent on the complex itself.
“It will go into construction mid next year and will be completed in 2021,” he said.
Construction on the Perth stadium started in December 2014 and was expected to be completed by early 2018.
Ms Harvey said it was a large project and the new facility would cater for victims of crime and separate them from perpetrators while facing court.
Ms Harvey also said that she ‘expected’ the new police station would have a 24-hour counter service.
“Operationally it will be up to the commissioner to determine whether it will be a 24-hour counter service at the new station or not,” she said.
“I would expect it would be when we look at demand through the south eastern corridor, it probably would be appropriate to have a 24-hour police station in Armadale to complement the Cannington station.”
Labor Member for Armadale Tony Buti welcomed the announcement with reservations but criticised the project’s timeframe and Ms Harvey’s comments over the 24-hour police station.
“What we want is for the Liberal Government to listen to what we are saying and give us a 24/7 public access police station and more police on the beat now, today,” he said.
“But once again the State Government failed to make that commitment to the Armadale community.
“What have I been saying and they’ve been denying it non-stop, and why do we have to wait until 2021 in any case?
“What will make the need increase for the 24/7 and the Cannington-like station in 2021 but not now?
“She’s just confirmed we do need a 24/7 station with enhanced services.”
Mr Mischin said the new complex would ease pressure on the court system and enable the State Government to appoint additional magistrates and court staff.
“By increasing the number of courtrooms and magistrates we will be able to reduce the time between offenders being charged, convicted and potentially locked up,” he said.
City of Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the announcement was really good news for the city.
“It has been something that has been needed here obviously as the city has been growing at the rate that it has,” he said.