Labor’s budget pain hits youth justice

Labor’s budget and debt crisis continues to worsen and has forced almost $73 million to be stripped from its planned high security youth justice centre west of Werribee.

Following the Andrews Government’s announcement on the eve of the AFL Grand Final that 104 beds would be slashed from the project, the Parliamentary Budget Office last night confirmed the financial impact of the cuts.

The government had announced it would build the new 244 bed Cherry Creek high security youth justice centre in 2017 but following years of reckless budgets, it has been forced to make savage cuts to the planned rehabilitation facility.

The question the Andrews Government must come clean on is whether this is a cut to the youth justice system or yet another project blowout which has plagued most of its infrastructure program.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Daniel Andrews has maxed out the state’s credit card and is scrambling to increase taxes and rip money out of projects because Labor can’t manage money and projects.

“Either these cuts are a result of a massive cost blow-out, or it’s a band-aid solution to patch up the gaping hole in the state budget.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Youth Justice, Brad Battin:

“These savage law and order cuts are coming at the height of a youth justice crisis which has resulted in staff assaults, riots and serious incidents.

“This is a cut to the treatment of youth offenders and flies in the face of improving community safety.”

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