The safety of children at the Ashley Youth Detention Centre has again been raised in Parliament with allegations by the Greens of a "culture of abuse and cover up" at the centre.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said: "Ashley is a sick place. It is failing young people, and it has for 98 years".
Ms O'Connor asked Human Services Minister Roger Jaensch several questions including why Ashley was being redeveloped and if one of three staff stood down had undertaken strip searches of young people.
"Why are you ploughing on with the re-development at Ashley before the commission of inquiry, when you must know that building refurbishment cannot fix a broken model? You cannot put lipstick on a pig," she said.
"Can you also confirm that a policy recommended by the Commissioner for Children to provide modesty gowns for young people during strip searches is not being adhered to, and when Ashley staff notified WorkSafe that no modesty gowns were available, a senior manager asked them to withdraw the notice?"
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Mr Jaensch said Ashley was being re-developed into a "therapeutic model of care."
"In relation to the practices of searching, in the (Budget) Estimates hearing I gave a detailed account of the procedures that have been adopted now based on recommendations from the Commissioner for Children and Young People and others regarding how the dignity of young people is protected, but also the importance of there being searches which have found contraband, drugs and knives that otherwise would have entered that facility," he said.
"We need to maintain a regime that protects the people inside, both staff and residents of Ashley, from those sorts of items entering the facility."
Mr Jaensch said Ashley was a complex environment and safety was paramount.
"The young people who are sentenced by courts to detention are themselves quite often being sentenced because of violent physical behaviour and crimes they have committed," he said.
"Therefore, the Ashley environment is characterised by the need to keep people safe and it is a high-risk environment."
Mr Jaensch stressed that a new learning and development framework had been introduced "to ensure all staff are trained to deliver a therapeutic model of care".