It’s time for the Liberals to listen to the community and walk away from Westbury as a site for the proposed maximum security northern prison.
Labor Member for Lyons Jen Butler said Peter Gutwein has claimed compassion as a cornerstone of his government and the Westbury issue was his chance to prove it.
“The community has made it abundantly clear that they do not, and will not, support building the prison in their town. An independent survey undertaken by an academic from James Cook University found that 8 out of 10 Westbury residents oppose the prison.
“The government has treated this community with contempt from the outset of their so-called consultation process. They announced Westbury as a preferred site with no community consultation.
“People in Westbury are distressed by the prospect of this prison in their town, and distressed by the contempt with which the government has treated them.
“Peter Gutwein says he wants to bring compassion to the job of Premier. If that’s true he will put an end to this distress by ruling out Westbury as a site for the northern prison.”
Shadow Corrections Minister Ella Haddad said the new Premier needed to go back to the drawing board.
“Westbury is a small rural town, and residents are concerned the prison will dominate the town, destroy its heritage values, and take Westbury off the map for tourists.
“It’s time for the Liberals to cut their losses, apologise to the residents of Westbury, and rule out that community as a site for the northern prison.
“Peter Gutwein needs to instruct Elise Archer to release the shortlist of potential sites, and start over with a genuine consultation process with the Tasmanian community.”
Labor Member for Lyons
Shadow Minister for Corrections