I have a bit of a personal history around prisons. My Uncle Walter back in Liverpool was a prison officer for many years, even today he lives in his house with the old prison wall in his backyard.
Then my father was a prison officer in Adelaide and Port Augusta for a number of years (that’s him in the photo below). It was not his ideal profession but when you have six kids to feed you take on whatever job you can that will pay the bills, and to his credit that is what he did.
So I was very interested in the fuss about the youth justice centre in Werribee South.
There are a few things to consider when reading the media reports on this or seeing the protests on TV. We have also spoken to several Werribee locals who tell us it is a non-issue for them.
A little-known part of our research is that we join local facebook groups in the locations where we recommend properties to our clients. It helps us see what locals are saying about living in the area.
Interestingly there have been no posts about the youth centre on the facebook pages we are members of.
To keep things in context the proposed centre is a 5-minute drive from the centre of Point Cook and 15 minutes to Harpley and Cornerstone as well as other housing estates like Williams Landing.
We don’t expect any impact at all on property values in the area, even in Point Cook which is much closer.
The interesting thing we noticed about the protest was the number of tractors that were there, it turns out they were all supplied by the market gardeners who have land close to the proposed centre.
Obviously having the centre close to a market gardening operation will not impact on their business. But it will likely have an impact on the value of the land they own, the land they were hoping to sell for housing estates.
I can understand that they are not happy about their personal situation but they are leading a protest with the theme that the centre is going to be a disaster for the city of Wyndham and that is just not going to be the case.
Another interesting point about this protest is that nothing is in the media about the residents of Williams Landing protesting. Maybe that is because they live a 10-minute drive from Victoria’s largest maximum security prison, Port Phillip Prison. Being close to that prison has not stopped their larger houses selling for a million dollars or more.
I hope that gives you some context to this debate.
Source: New prison in Werribee South to replace Melbourne Youth Justice Centre in Parkville after riots review – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)