Rehab centre for men eyes plot of land

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Lands Minister Terry Redman.
Camera IconLands Minister Terry Redman. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

The Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre in Newman has made a pivotal first step in securing land for the centre’s new domestic violence rehabilitation program.

Shire of East Pilbara councillors last week approved a request to be sent to Minister for Lands Terry Redman to update the purpose of a local reserve to include “community purposes”.

While the Shire had not provided a firm commitment for the land to be leased to the healing centre, the proposed modification order is a vital first step to allow it to consider the proposal further.

Shire of East Pilbara chief executive Allen Cooper said the decision would allow some working scope on the land.

“It’s far from being committed (to) by anyone because we’re changing the purpose of the reserve — it’s just so they can wrap some planning around it,” he said.

The reserve, opposite Newman Airport, was originally planned for a freight and logistics hub but with the economic downturn, demand for the facility has fallen.

The reserve has now been identified by the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre as the ideal lo-cation for its rehabilitation program.

The healing centre is the vision of Newman resident Devon Cuimara.

The father-of-five has dedicated himself to reducing indigenous domestic violence through a rehabilitation program for male perpetrators in the Pilbara and Western Desert regions.

The centre has strong support among Martu elders, police, legal services and domestic violence workers, according to recent reports.

“It’s quite a significant topic throughout Australia at the moment,” Mr Cooper said.

“Anything that helps any portion of the population to get out of a cycle or one less injured person is going to be a benefit to the whole community.”

If Mr Redman approves the proposed modifications to the reserve, the Shire of East Pilbara will be able to consider formally the request to lease the reserve to the healing centre.

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