Research apparently commissioned by the Hodgman Government is a further sign of a government not willing to engage in genuine community consultation over the site of the proposed maximum security northern prison.
Shadow Minister for Corrections Ella Haddad said concerned members of the Westbury community have told how a telephone survey this week effectively put it to them that if they supported jobs for the region they would support siting the prison at Westbury.
“That’s not a fair poll. The results will be skewed by the nature of the questions asked. It’s push polling, and Will Hodgman needs to confirm whether his Government was behind it.”
Labor Member for Lyons Jen Butler said the Government continues to ignore the concerns of Westbury residents and has treated them poorly by hiding behind a phone poll.
“Today, we hear that Will Hodgman and Elise Archer have arrived in Westbury with no forewarning, and intent on avoiding Tasmanian media.
“If they’re committed to genuine consultation, why won’t they engage with the community in a transparent and planned way, allowing a real opportunity for concerns to be heard?
“People in the Westbury community want and deserve genuine consultation. The Government says it’s committed to that, but their actions speak louder than their words.
“The community had no warning prior to the announcement of Westbury as the preferred site and today Government continues its game of hide and seek with the community.
“The only way to remedy the distress caused to the community is for Will Hodgman and his Government to walk away from Westbury as a preferred site,” Ms Butler said.
Ms Haddad again called on Will Hodgman and Elise Archer to release the list of other potential sites for the northern prison.
“Government has spent 18 months going through a process, and spent more than $300,000 on consultants’ reports. Taxpayers have a right to know where that money has been spent and where the site options are, especially those people living in communities in the north of the state.
“It’s time for the Government to come clean, as part of genuine consultation with Tasmanians.”
Shadow Minister for Corrections
Labor Member for Lyons