New youth remand facility to be built at Wacol

Published Thursday, 05 October, 2023 at 01:33 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development and Minister for Youth Justice
The Honourable Di Farmer

  • The Palaszczuk Government will deliver a new youth remand facility in Wacol
  • Early works will get underway as soon as possible, with a rapid build construction approach to deliver stage one of the facility in 2024
  • Facility will accommodate approximately 50 young people, boosting detention capacity and enabling improved access to support services.

A new youth remand facility will be fast-tracked and rapid built at Wacol to boost capacity and lead to better outcomes for young people in detention, back by a $250 million investment.

The Queensland Police Service is leading the construction of the facility which will be located on QPS-owned land, nearby to the existing Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

QPS is working closely with the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training to ensure the facility is fit-for-purpose for people held in custody.

The facility will have the capacity to accommodate approximately 50 young people and will have common exercise areas and access to educational, medical and therapeutic capabilities at the adjacent detention complex.

Using rapid build technology and a modular design will enable faster delivery of the project.

QPS have already engaged consultants with extensive experience in the design and construction of large scale modular correctional facilities. 

The facility will be operated by the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training and house young people in detention exclusively until the new youth detention centres open in Woodford and Cairns.

Early site work will commence this month with the facility expected to open in 2024.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“Our government is listening, and we are acting.

“There is nothing more important than keeping the community safe and we know we need more detention capacity.

“This government is committed to tackling youth crime and giving police everything they need to do their jobs and keep Queenslanders safe.

“This youth remand centre will provide best-practice services to young people, who have found themselves on the wrong path so early in life. 

“Of course, we know prevention is key to keep them from committing crimes, which is why we announced a raft of funding for programs that help break the cycle of offending.”   

Quotes attributable to Police Minister Mark Ryan:

“Community safety is the highest priority of the government.

“We know that holding serious repeat youth offenders to account is critical to keeping the community safe.

“The fast-track plans for a new youth remand facility means we can quickly increase detention capacity while ensuring we are providing appropriate services for young people in detention.

“It will reduce the need for young people to be held in watchhouses while they are awaiting placement in a detention centre while also enabling improved access to support resources and services.”

Quotes attributable to Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer:

“The government has listened to the community, and we are putting community safety first.

“Earlier this year, we passed new legislation to enact some of the strongest youth justice laws in the nation, and these are holding serious repeat offenders to account.

“At the same time, we are doing more than ever to break the cycle of offending, because when these young people come into the system, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to stop them returning.

“Construction of this new facility will enable young people to access the range of therapeutic programs and services they need to turn their lives around.

“This includes help from primary health and mental health practitioners, speech pathologists, case workers, cultural staff and education officers to support the rehabilitation of young people.

“My department will also work closely with stakeholders, including First Nations representatives, to co-design a model of on-site service delivery to make sure young people receive the right services at the right time.”

Quotes attributable to Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll:

“The QPS Wacol precinct is an ideal location to build this facility as it is located right next to the current youth detention centre, allowing for easy access to a range of government services.

“The facility will significantly boost watchhouse capacity for the QPS into the future which is a good outcome for operational staff and prisoners held in police custody.

“Police will continue to work with our government partners and the community sector on a range of youth crime initiatives to keep the community safe, intervene early and break the cycle of young people reoffending.”  

Media Contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: (07) 3035 8300
Police Media: (07) 3015 2444