Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said he would not pursue the former government’s plan to close the facility and relocate it.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said he would not pursue the former government’s plan to close the facility and relocate it. David Stuart

Barrett Adolescent Centre closure may still happen

CLOSING the "aging" Barrett Adolescent Centre is still on the table with the Health Department looking into private sector collaboration.

Rumours have been circulating about the facility's closure after a senior doctor told the Child Protection Inquiry last year he understood the 15-bed centre would close its doors.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said he would not pursue the former government's plan to close the facility and relocate it.

But he has not ruled out closing it at all together.

Mr Springborg told a Parliamentary Estimates hearing the department needed to look at whether they should be working with the private or non-for-profit sector.

"If you look at all of our research, that is the cohort of people (adolescents) that are under a very real risk and have a high level of mental health issues proportionally," Mr Springborg said.

"Therefore, to make sure we get the right mix in regards to patient facility being available at the Barrett over a long period of time, (we need to) actually also then look at whether we should be working more with the private sector or non-for-profit sector…

"…and how we can actually provide more community options as we do with tens of millions of dollars with public money every year in so far as engaging on community options."

Mr Springborg conceded the Wacol facility was aging and had serious maintenance issues.

"It's not a very appropriate facility for what need is," he said on Wednesday.

The minister highlighted adolescents travelling to the Barrett Adolescent Centre from Cairns for residencies and the need to "knit" together all mental health services.

A 1000-signature strong "Save the Barrett Adolescent Centre" petition was submitted to Queensland Parliament earlier this year.



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