The Labor Party has backed calls by the Westbury community for the government to stop stalling and release a social and economic impact report on the northern prison location to provide some certainty to the community.
Labor Member for Lyons Jen Butler said Peter Gutwein must honour his pledge to release the report publicly so it can inform decision-making as he promised.
“The Westbury community has been through 9 months of a shambolic and distressing process for the northern prison,” Ms Butler said.
“They have made it clear they will not accept the prison in their town but the government continues to treat them with contempt and leave them in limbo about the future of their town.
“After getting the initial consultation process very badly wrong, the government has now dragged out a series of surveys it says will guide its decision on whether to push ahead with Westbury.
“Despite promising to release the report publicly and having had it for 13 days, Peter Gutwein remains silent on its contents and will not say when he plans to release it.
“This is not good enough and the community group, Westbury Region Against the Prison has been forced to issue a plea to the government to do so.
“The fact that the Premier’s silence comes on top of calls by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to change tack quickly on the location shows the government is floundering and has badly misjudged not only the Westbury community but also the business community it claims to represent.
“While Labor supports development of a northern prison, it is not appropriate to force a decision on a community.
“The people of Westbury deserve to be heard and the government must keep them informed and release this report as a matter of urgency.
“Their silence suggests they are merely delaying the inevitable. It is time the government showed the Westbury community some respect, conceded they got it wrong and went back to the drawing board, so the people of Westbury can heal and move on.”
Jen Butler MP
Labor Member for Lyons