WRAP - No prison in Westbury
WRAP media release - 5 May 2022


For over two and a half years, WRAP has fought tirelessly against the senseless proposal to burden the small rural town of Westbury with the Northern Regional Prison. When our group incorporated to take this fight up to the Government, our campaign's catch cry was "Save Historic Westbury".

The decision to move the proposal away from the Westbury region brings an end to WRAP's campaign. The amenity and character of our town have been preserved, not just through our efforts but because the two sites we campaigned against were bottom of the barrel choices. This backflip on the prison mirrors the backflip on the Burnie Court. It shows that no good decisions are made in a hurry and without consultation.

This journey has been hard and divisive. But it has also been educational. Tasmanians have been sold a lie. Prisons do not keep our communities safer. They are a revolving door of misery which eventually spills out into the community.

The more prisons we build the more at risk we become. We have researched this in depth, and we know this.

We have learned that in order to keep us all safer, the focus of the criminal justice system must shift to rehabilitation, and away from punishment. And for this reason, we welcome the new ministerial title conferred upon Elise Archer MP (Minister for Corrections and Rehabilitation). It's one step towards rectifying this imbalance.

We sincerely hope that any Northern "correctional" facility proposed in future will have rehabilitation as its core focus, not punishment. We still doubt that the core needs of inmates and staff can be met by a facility in the middle of a bucolic community, far from essential services.

So, if the proposal for Ashley is for a retrograde "lock 'em up and throw away the key" facility, and the people of Deloraine and Exton oppose it, many of us here in Westbury will support them.

Linda Poulton
President and Spokesperson, WRAP Inc