WRAP - No prison in Westbury

Letter sent to WRAP members on 11 October 2020

Wedge-Tailed Eagles and drilling rigs at Birralee Rd prison site

Next week, the Government has scheduled investigative drilling works on site at the Westbury reserve. We have done everything we could to stop this happening. It is the worst possible time of year for this to occur, as the wedged-tail eagles are most likely nesting on site right now and will be easily disturbed by this activity.

Many, many people are so distressed about this. Not just because of the eagles, but because they thought this site was protected as a nature reserve for many, many of its other natural values.

The Government either does not care about this or deliberately promotes distress in the community to make a political issue out of this. Why else pick now, of all times, to do this?

We and CROWPs have pulled out everything we have to stop this. We have worked so hard over the past week to ensure that the Government must NOT do this. If it proceeds like this, the Government will pay a political price which it does not yet appreciate the cost of.

You should know that we have recently enlisted some pretty important allies in this battle from the full political spectrum. Greg Barns SC, Chair of the Prisoners' Legal Service. Greg Irons from Bonorong Wildlife Park.

Sentiment against the Government's fixation on this totally inappropriate site is growing and Minister Archer's conduct is looking more and more illegitimate. This is a fixation that will come back to bite.

This is not just an update though. It's a call out to you because we believe that the prison will have the same impact on Westbury that it would have done at the former site.

Yes, it is a little further out. But it will still turn Westbury into a feeder town for a prison. It will transform Westbury into a place that many of us who live here, would not like to contemplate.

It's simply not right that a concrete monstrosity like this is constructed 5 kilometres from a small historic village that was doing so well without it.

Not only that, there is no way that inmates will be treated any better in the new concrete jungle in the bush just because it's in the North. The complete and utter collapse of Risdon Prison shows that the Government is interested solely in building something as an election promise – once built, it will be an underfunded, neglected concrete storage facility or human misery.

Westbury cannot service a prison. A prison will not make Westbury better.

This is why we keep fighting.

Please continue to support us.

We are doing this to fight for everything about Tasmania and its small, historic towns that we love. And we want well thought out strategies for our society than building concrete warehouses for human misery.

Regards,

Linda Poulton
President, WRAP

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