Community journalism holds government to account

Tasmanian Labor
  • State’s top media awards recognise Meander Valley Gazette
  • Bungled northern prison process highlighted in award winning story
  • Government must concede Westbury is the wrong site for a prison
  • An award won by the Meander Valley Gazette in last night’s Tasmanian Media Awards is acknowledgement of the importance of community journalism.

    Labor Members for Lyons Jen Butler said the Gazette’s Sharon Webb took out the award for “Best News Story” for a piece on the proposed Westbury prison.

    “Sharon and the Gazette have pursued this story as it developed over time.

    “Sharon’s story How Westbury became a Site for a Prison provides insights into the state government’s mismanagement of the northern prison process.

    “The Gazette has provided a voice for the Westbury community during a period where government attempted to avoid accountability for its poor consultation process.

    “My congratulations goes to Sharon, along with the congratulations of the Westbury community.”

    Ms Butler said the community has made it abundantly clear that they do not, and will not, support building the prison in their town.

    “The government has treated this community with contempt from the outset of their so-called consultation process.

    “They announced Westbury as a preferred site and dumped that on the community with no consultation.

    “Westbury is a small rural town, and residents are concerned the prison will dominate the town, destroy its heritage values, and take it off the map for tourists.

    “The government must concede they’re looking in the wrong place.

    “They need to go back to the drawing board, and start over with a genuine consultation process with the Tasmanian community.”

    Jen Butler

    Labor Member for Lyons

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