WRAP - No prison in Westbury
WRAP media release - 19 June 2020

Government caves to community backlash but remains fixated on Birralee Road

WRAP is claiming the Government's backdown on the preferred site just outside Westbury as a victory but cannot say that the battle is over just yet.

"Make no mistake, we drove them off this site. They did not leave voluntarily."

We are in the course of consulting extensively with our community to gauge community sentiment about the new location. When we have done so, we’ll be able to chart a path forward.

We don't know why, but Birralee Road and its proximity to Westbury seems to hold a strange fascination for the Government.

The new site will come at a significantly greater cost because it is much further removed from essential infrastructure. It was not in the mix in the Government's Expression of Interest process and seems like an odd decision to rush headlong into.

Apparently, the site was simply "happened upon" by the Premier after chatting with locals in February, which is far from an ideal procurement strategy. There is something quite bizarre about how this decision has been arrived at.

Regrettably, the Government has yet again selected a site without consulting the community, so it feels a bit like ground hog day.

We have already been contacted by one landowner who is now very close to the new site who found out about her potential new neighbour only after the public announcement was made. Understandably, she was completely distraught and has contacted us for support.

I won't say that we are back to square one, but I think we feel like we are in a bit of a time warp with this.

Linda Poulton
President, WRAP Inc
Westbury

 

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