Concerns by residents living near a planned domestic violence crisis centre that it will be used for other purposes have been denied by Housing Plus CEO David Fisher.
A meeting of about 50 residents on Sunday heard fears the centre near the corner of The Escort Way and the Northern Distributor Road might also be used to house parolees fresh out of prison.
Mr Fisher said those suggestions were “misleading at best.”
He said it was a requirement of funding provided by government the centre only be for domestic violence victims.
“I don’t know why neighbours are speculating it could be use for some other purpose,” he said.
Mr Fisher also said after talks with police and organisations which ran similar facilities in other areas he believed the risk of domestic violence perpetrators coming to the area to seek the victims was low.
“Perpetrators don’t pursue their victims to the facility. If they did police can use their powers, which includes Apprehended Violence Orders against them,” he said.
Mr Fisher also denied the centre would be flood-lit at night or traffic would be significantly increased in George Weily Place. He said the traffic increase would be “marginal.”
Mr Fisher said Housing Plus offered to consult with neighbours last month.
He said he was willing to meet with “one or two organisers who represent the people” to discuss their concerns.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said he had been contacted by some West Orange residents and had passed the information onto council staff.
Cr Kidd said it would be considered by staff once the public exhibition period ended on Friday.
He said the people fleeing domestic violence needed to be in a residential area.
“It has been put to me it [the centre] should be at the mental hospital. These people are not mentally ill,” he said.
“If it was placed there, there could be a stigma attached to it so they might not come forward.”
Cr Kidd said the facility was vital to address Orange’s domestic violence problem.
“Our council is part of the White Ribbon pledge,” he said.
Cr Kidd said it was wrong to suggest domestic violence only occurred in some families.
“It happens in the best of households,” he said.
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