WRAP - No prison in Westbury
WRAP media release - 3 June 2020

The Government needs to listen to TCCI advice to scrap prison at Westbury

On the 3rd of January 2020, Brad Stansfield, former adviser to the Liberal Government, warned that the Liberal Government needed to abandon Westbury as the preferred location for the Northern Regional Prison, or face losing votes in Lyons. He later referred to the Westbury prison as a boil that needed to be lanced.

In his opinion piece in The Examiner on 30th May 2020, Barry Prismall, another former adviser to the Tasmanian Liberal Party, directed scathing criticism towards the Government for its handling of the Westbury prison process. He clearly considers the Government’s handling of the process as an exercise in cynicism and a complete debacle.

Michael Bailey, the CEO of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has now performed a complete backflip on his earlier calls for the prison to be brought forward at Westbury.

Mr Bailey still believes that the Northern Regional Prison Project remains crucial and needs to be prioritised. He believes, however, that the prison should not be located at Westbury. In his words, the prison needs to be located in a community that welcomes it.

The prison does not have a social licence in Westbury. Westbury is simply the wrong place for the prison.

The TCCI is the leader of the Tasmanian business community. It is the voice of business at all levels of Government in Tasmania. Like WRAP, the TCCI believes that the Government needs to press the reset button on the prison project and locate it somewhere else.

The withdrawal of support by the TCCI for the Westbury Prison is a complete and utter game changer.

Surely, it is time for the Government to listen to good advice and abandon the Birralee Road site at Westbury.

If not, the bleeding of votes in Lyons will become a reality for the Liberal Government at the next election.

Linda Poulton
President, WRAP Inc


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