The signs are now being taken down across Corindi. Photo: Facebook
The signs are now being taken down across Corindi. Photo: Facebook

Serco’s plan for Corindi rehab facility taken off the table

THE protest signs across Corindi Beach are officially being taken down, as residents celebrate victory in their battle against a controversial proposal that had been put on the table from multinational prison service provider Serco.

The proposal, Home Strait, will no longer go ahead in NSW as it did not progress past the co-development phase with the State Government.

"The outcome has highlighted that when a community works together anything can happen," Corindi Beach residents' action group spokeswoman Michelle Hanson said.

"We are so happy with the outcome, however, as we have said from the start, Home Strait is a great concept and, in a location with the correct services, we firmly believe in the idea."

As part of the Home Strait proposal, Serco had planned to operate a justice facility in the small coastal town, aimed at rehabilitating young adult males from the Northern Rivers who had committed an offence but had been released on bail.

The Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, located near the heart of town and in ­proximity to a primary school, had been earmarked as the ­location for this residential ­facility.

With limited access to hospitals, ambulance and police, locals who shared concerns for their safety formed an action group and had been lobbying against the plans since they leaked in May last year.

Putting up signs across Corindi, emblazoned with slogans like "don't sell our town", residents had called for what they considered a worthy program to instead be established at a location that had emergency services at hand.

In October, Serco announced it would no longer pursue its plans to operate a residential program at Yarrawarra, however it would still pursue plans to use the cultural centre as part of a day program.

On Friday however, residents received the news from Serco that the proposal was completely off the table.

As part of their campaign over the months, residents had garnered the support of Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan, Greens MP David Shoebridge and Coffs Harbour City councillors Tegan Swan and John Arkan.

The group is now discussing where they will donate the $1600 raised through a GoFundMe page that had been set up to fund their campaign against Serco's proposal.

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