Cherry Creek Youth Justice Centre
Kangaroo Drive, Cherry Creek
The Community Safety Building Authority is building a new youth justice centre to the west of Werribee, in the vicinity of Cherry Creek. The site is approximately 11km from the Werribee train station and is 1.5km north east of Little River Road where it joins the Princes Freeway.
Providing a new youth justice facility is an essential part of the government’s commitment to improving community safety and modernising Victoria’s youth justice system.
The new youth justice centre will play a key role in the rehabilitation of young people and children who are offending and improve community safety.
The new centre will include:
- beds for remand and sentenced young offenders
- a mental health unit
- an intensive intervention unit of at least eight beds.
Project objectives and areas of focus
The new centre will:
- meet the expected demand for youth justice custodial services over time;
- address the requirement for enhanced safety and security; and
- deliver rehabilitative services for young people.
Frequently asked questions
The working name for the new facility is Cherry Creek. One of the tasks for the Community Advisory Group will be to provide recommendations to the Minister on a name for the facility.
The City of Wyndham is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia and it is important to ensure there is economic and employment opportunity in the region.
Property prices in Parkville remain unaffected by the youth justice centre there and homebuyers will continue to be attracted by all that Werribee has to offer, particularly with this boost for jobs in the area.
Will people who have children or relatives in the centre move to the area?
The centre is located in good proximity of transport to make it easy for people to visit the facility.
The Department is committed to working with, and listening to, the local community in the planning and development of the new Youth Justice Centre.
A Community Advisory Group, featuring representatives from the City of Wyndham Council as well as members of the local community, was established in June 2017 to ensure local input throughout the planning and development stages.
The advisory group will ensure the community is informed and engaged throughout the process.
The Community Advisory Group will inform details about how the design of the facility addresses matters such as traffic management, car parking, lighting, noise impact, visual impact, landscaping, flora and fauna and environmental issues.
Disruptions to the community
As construction will be contained to the site location, it is unlikely to cause any distribution to local communities.
The majority of construction will be during the day. The use of lights for any night construction or site security will be moderate.
The site is indicative of other construction sites in the west of Victoria. It is mostly covered with native grassland of varying quality and is likely to contain a number of other species of plants and animals, including the Golden Sun Moth, Spiny Rice-flower and the striped legless lizard. The presence or otherwise of these species has been checked by undertaking field surveys as part of the environmental evaluations across the site.
Targeted surveys for a variety of Matters of National Environmental Significance were carried and identified to items including;
- Golden Sun Moth, and
- Natural Temperate Grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain community (NTGVVP).
A field survey was conducted by environmental consultants and they found no spiny rice-flower on the site.
Golden sun moth
Golden Sun Moth was identified on the site.
A field survey was conducted over the 2017-18 summer period to determine if the Golden Sun Moth is present on the site.
This involved systematically searching the site for flying males and the more sedentary females during the local flight season, which occurred from late October to early January.
Striped Legless lizard
No Striped Legless Lizards were identified on the site following the completion of targeted surveys.
Field surveys for Striped Legless Lizards concluded that it was highly unlikely the specie is present in the area.
As part of the nine targeted surveys, roof tiles were placed at the site over a couple of months to detect whether any Striped Legless Lizards would colonise at site.
There are no previous records of Orange-bellied Parrots on the site, which reflects the lack of coastal saltmarsh vegetation that is typically utilised by this species when over-wintering in Victoria.
Is the centre located on wetlands protected by the Ramsar Convention?
The land on which the new Youth Justice Centre is being built does not contain any ecological values typically associated with a Ramsar site such as wetlands, shorelines or important habitat for migratory species.
There is an ephemeral or seasonal wetland to the south of where the centre is being built, known as Paul and Belfrages Swamp. These are not within the portion of land being purchased from Melbourne Water for the new centre, and will not be impacted by the project. Melbourne Water will continue to manage and protect this area.
The project is required to obtain State and Federal environmental approvals prior to construction.
A Youth Justice Facility Plan (YJFP) is being developed and will cover a wide range of issues affecting the design and construction of the new centre including traffic management. This will include an assessment of existing traffic usage and projected usage to determine an intersection on Little River Road in consultation with VicRoads.
The plan will include details about how the design of the facility addresses matters such as traffic management, car parking, noise impact, visual impact, landscaping, flora and fauna and environmental issues, and any other issues that may affect the surrounding community.
A new road will be constructed to provide access to the centre from Little River Road. This will provide access for all staff, clients and visitors.
Options are being explored for transport methods to and from the Werribee Train Station to the new Youth Justice Centre. This will be explored in the Youth Justice Facility Plan as a part of traffic management.
Victoria’s new youth justice centre is being built west of Werribee, in the vicinity of Cherry Creek. The site is approximately 11km from the Werribee train station and 1.5km north east of where Little River Road joins the Princes Freeway.
The new state of the art youth justice centre will utilise physical, electronic and operational security elements to ensure the safety of staff, young offenders, visitors and the wider community.
The youth justice centre will accommodate both remand and sentenced young people with a range of risk/need profiles. The security and construction elements of each building and functional area will be tailored according to risk/need profile.
The primary security barrier will be a continuous solid 6m wall providing a physical and visual screen between the youth justice centre and the surrounding public areas. The perimeter detection system will detect unauthorised attempts to breach the wall/fence from both inside and out.
Inside the youth justice centre, structured operational processes and physical barriers will also be utilised to manage the day-to-day movements of residents, staff and visitors.
Electronic security measures play a major role in a youth justice custodial environment and the new youth justice centre will be fitted with the most appropriate security systems to ensure a high level of safety for all.
Measures such as CCTV cameras, metal detectors, alarm monitoring points and key management systems will be used throughout.
A comprehensive Emergency Management Plan will also be developed to outline emergency management processes and procedures. This will include consultation with CFA, Victoria Police, SES, Ambulance Victoria and other emergency services organisations where appropriate.
Download Fact Sheet (PDF)
For security and safety purposes, the secure perimeter of the youth justice centre is required to be illuminated from dusk until after dawn to allow for visual detection of movement and to facilitate the 24-hour operation of the youth justice centre.
Directional and adjustable LED lighting is generally the best measure to reduce light pollution and will be utilised to reduce lighting levels whilst meeting operational requirements.
Illumination of internal pathways and roads will be expected to be not more than uniform 3-5 lux, to minimise light spill into adjoining areas and avoid obtrusive light spill into accommodation.
Illumination of the secure perimeter will be adjustable. During the hours when the secure perimeter needs to be illuminated, lighting will be at reduced levels, switching to normal levels immediately upon activation of the perimeter security system. Infra-red lighting, invisible to the human eye, will be considered for certain locations and times.
The design will use efficient lighting fixtures on the secure perimeter to ensure energy savings while maintaining appropriate safety and security.
The external car park and the entry areas will feature lighting compliant with Australian Standards. Light fittings will include pole, bollard and building-mounted lights located and oriented to control light pollution and glare limiting the impact on the local community and environment.
An emergency and exit lighting system will be provided to the appropriate standards.
As the lighting technology will be different to what is used at the Werribee Quarry and Werribee Refuse Station, the centre lights will not be as bright.
Download Fact Sheet (PDF)
The Department of Justice and Community Safety has acquired 67 hectares of land near Cherry Creek to the south west of Werribee on which to build the new youth justice centre. This land is owned by Melbourne Water as part of the broader Western Treatment Plant landholdings, and has been used intermittently for cattle grazing.
The site is relatively flat, with some small rocky outcrops, and is generally covered with native grassland. There are two small creeks that cross the site, which are dry most of the year.
An emergency and exit lighting system will be provided to the appropriate standards.
As the lighting technology will be different to what is used at the Werribee Quarry and Werribee Refuse Station, the centre lights will not be as bright
A range of studies have been undertaken to understand the important values of the site and to inform work to identify and minimise any impacts, including:
- Ecological assessment
- Targeted surveys for threatened species
- Cultural heritage assessment
- Geotechnical and soil contamination assessment.
- The land on which the new youth justice centre is being built does not contain any ecological values typically associated with a Ramsar site such as wetlands, shorelines or important habitat for migratory species.
EPBC Act approval (2017/8049)
You can access reporting prepared under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for this project below.
The purpose of this reporting is to demonstrate compliance with the conditions of the approval 2017/8049 granted under the EPBC Act.
Download 2021/22 report
Ecologically Sustainable Development
The Victorian Government is committed to principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) in the development and operation of government buildings and facilities. The new youth justice centre’s design, landscaping and site services strategy incorporates a variety of ESD design features.
The ESD strategy for the project responds to the following key themes:
- energy efficiency (for example, passive design, energy-efficient lighting and alternative energy initiatives)
- water efficiency (for example, low-flow fittings and water re-use)
- environmentally sound building materials (for example, incorporation of recycled materials)
- waste minimisation (for example, recycling to divert waste from landfill).