The State Labor MP who blamed nastier street violence on the fact that young people who committed such crimes were not being "culled" by being sent to foreign wars has enraged mental health advocates by labelling mentally impaired people accused of violent crimes as trash.
On the same day as his contentious comments about street violence, Forrestfield MP Andrew Waddell told State Parliament last week that the Barnett Government's plan to build a "declared place" to house intellectually disabled accused people judged unfit for trial in his electorate had failed because "this Government thought it could dump its trash into Kenwick".
During a Labor motion that criticised the State Government's performance, Mr Waddell said Disability Services Minister Helen Morton had failed to consult the community over what he described as plans for a "detention centre for intellectually disabled dangerous criminals".
"The community was not going to have that . . . we got the minister to do a full backflip in absolute record time," he said.
"Why? It was because this Government thought it could dump its trash into Kenwick.
"This Government thought that those of us who live in the eastern suburbs do not matter - out of sight, out of mind - and that we will take whatever is dished up because this government does not have to deliver services out to us; it just delivers us its problems."
Mrs Morton said yesterday she was "absolutely appalled that any community leader would describe people with a disability as trash".
"The people coming into a disability justice centre are not psychotic or dangerous. They do not have a mental illness and they are not violent," she said.
Greens mental health spokeswoman Alison Xamon said though Mrs Morton had botched the community consultation and planning, Mr Waddell's comments were "a disgrace" and "disgusting".
"It shows an extreme level of ignorance," she said.
Mental Health Law Centre principal solicitor Sandra Boulter said Mr Waddell's remarks were an "offensive statement that reflects a lack of understanding" and WA was in desperate need of declared places so the "most vulnerable members of our community" were not held in prison.Labor leader Mark McGowan defended the comments, saying "it was obvious to anyone who followed the debate at the time that Andrew was referring to a bad government decision rather than the individuals involved".