The decision of whether juvenile justice on-country facilities will be court-ordered or optional for attendees is “not a simple one”, according to Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna. Ms D’Anna said it was too early in the planning process to commit to details, and the decision of whether or not court orders would be used was one that would be made after community consultation. “On-country facilities are just one part of the wider Juvenile Justice Strategy we’re working on in the Kimberley and there’s still a lot of planning to be done,” she said. Her comments come after Mining and Pastoral MLC Neil Thomson criticized the State Government’s refusal to say whether attendance would be court ordered. “This really is a simple one — we’ve had optional on-country facilities in the past and the fact of the matter is kids just don’t go,” Mr Thomson said. “The State Government have been working on their Juvenile Justice Strategy for years and need to start answering questions on it. “They’ve had their time to plan, the Kimberley is reaching crisis point and they just keep saying they are planning.” However, Ms D’Anna said Mr Thomson comments were ill-informed. “If we just come in and make sweeping changes and put kids in these facilities against their will then what’s the point? It’s then basically just a prison.” “I think reaching some sort of mix would be good. “We can give at-risk kids the chance to come to these facilities on their own, and alongside we can have court-ordered attendance — I think that will at least stop the place being viewed as a prison.” Mr Thomson said the State Government was “hung-up on definitions” of whether it was a prison or not.