Mark Shelton has failed to answer whether or not he declared a conflict of interest and removed himself from Cabinet when decisions on the location of the Westbury prison were being made.
In his former role as Meander Valley Council mayor, Mr Shelton signed a Deed of Agreement for Council to develop an industry precinct on land that has since been earmarked as the preferred location for a northern prison.
The Deed of Agreement was signed by landowners – Glen Avon Farms – with the understanding the Council would establish infrastructure in return for future payment. Glen Avon Farms are now $700,000 in debt to the Council.
Labor Member for Lyons, Jen Butler, said Mark Shelton must come clean and be honest with Tasmanians.
“Mark Shelton negotiated a $700,000 loan agreement with the owners of the preferred northern prison site, located on Biralee Road,” Ms Butler said
“Mark Shelton has intimate knowledge of this matter and must have been aware as a Cabinet minister of his responsibly to identify a conflict of interest and exempt himself from Cabinet decision making.
“Mark Shelton owes it to all Tasmanians to clarify whether or not he declared a conflict of interest regarding decisions on the location of the northern prison site – his failure to do so can only mean one thing.
“The site for the proposed maximum security prison has caused incredible distress for the Westbury community and the Liberals lack of transparency about the issue is disgraceful.
“The question is simple: did Mark Shelton declare a conflict of interest or didn’t he?”
Jen Butler MP
Member for Lyons