Qld announces new mental health centre

The Queensland government has chosen a site for a replacement mental health facility for young people after the controversial closure of the Barrett Centre.

Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital will house a replacement for the Barrett Adolescent Centre controversially closed under the former Liberal National Party government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Cameron Dick on Thursday announced construction would begin at the Chermside site after a business case was completed next year.

"Today is a new chapter in the delivery of modernised mental health services," Mr Dick said.

The decision to close the Barrett Centre at Wacol in early 2014 - the only facility to provide long-term, in-patient treatment for young people with complex mental illnesses - became a politically and emotionally-charged issue.

Within eight months of the decision, three young people took their lives and a commission of inquiry has since found warnings from experts about the significant risks to patients, should it be shut without a replacement, were ignored.

"The construction of this facility rights a terrible wrong," Mr Dick said.

Jeannine Kimber, a representative of the families impacted by the Barrett Centre closure, endorsed the new centre.

"Severe and complex mental health issues require a very specialised approach," she said.

"The services that are around for young people with other mental health issues generally don't cater for that level of complexity."

Ms Palaszczuk said it would help deliver a holistic approach.

"I have been very privileged over the years to have got to know personally not just the young people but their parents," she said.

The LNP's shadow treasurer, Scott Emerson, defended his party's 2014 actions.

"We followed the advice of the department at the time," he said.

"I do support anything that helps the mental health of young Queenslanders."

As a result of the commission of inquiry into the closure, two public servants face disciplinary action.

Former LNP health minister Lawrence Springborg was also referred to police by Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller in July over allegations he lied to a 2013 budget estimates hearing.

Asked about the centre's closure, Mr Springborg would only say a review was underway, however the inquiry into the matter later found the decision was made nine days earlier.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said the matter was still with State Crime Command.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

Source AAP

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