Step ahead for justice precinct

Step ahead for justice precinct

Member for Armadale Tony Buti with Labor candidate for Burt Matt Keogh at Armadale Police Station. Photograph – Matt Devlin.

WA Police were in the process of acquiring land for the new police station and courthouse justice complex in the Armadale CBD but no money has been set aside for its estimated $50 million construction yet.

In last year’s state budget the government announced it would spend $200,000 on land planning for the complex, which would replace the aged Armadale courthouse and police station.

The City of Armadale has been pushing for the complex to be established on Church Avenue for several years to free up land for the development of a civic precinct along Jull Street.

A WA Police spokesman said the $200,000 was spent on the development of a land analysis report which was handed to the Economic and Expenditure Review Committee in November last year.

“Project resources were engaged to provide land options information,” he said.

“These options were evaluated to consider site viability and their relative alignment with operational requirements.”

He said based on the EERC’s assessment of the report the State Government approved the funding for the acquisition of land through the mid-year review in December.

“The land acquisition phase has a target completion date of June 30, 2016,” he said.

In the review the cost of the land acquisition was marked commercial in confidence and no money was set aside for the complex’s construction in the forward estimates.

City of Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the city would continue to advocate for funding in the next state budget and forward estimates.

“It’s obvious that both police and the court system are struggling to cope with our district’s rapid growth which is predicted to be six per cent in 2016,” he said.

“The current courthouse and police station were built in the 1980s, when the City of Armadale was a smaller place and our town centre had far fewer facilities.”

“Relocation of the court house is crucial to the redevelopment of the civic precinct and provision of other key local services to the region.”

Member for Armadale Tony Buti, who has pushed for an upgraded 24/7 police station and new courthouse for more than five years, said the area’s policing and justice services would much better with new facilities.