WRAP media release - 19 August 2020
Final draft of Major Projects legislation targets prison at Westbury
The Government's final version of the Major Projects legislation reveals that the Government is well and truly hell bent on using the legislation on the Westbury prison if the standard planning process does not go its way.
"I am not sure how many lies we will have to put up with on the path to pushing this prison far, far away from our small historic town to an appropriate location in an urban area, where there are all the proper resources inmates and correctional staff deserve," said Linda Poulton, President WRAP Inc.
"The Premier himself promised us in person that the Major Projects legislation was not aimed at the prison.
But one of the assessment criteria for a major project in the final draft of the Bill is whether the activities that are proposed to be carried out on the land after the construction of the project are of interest to or for the benefit of a wider sector of the public than resides in the project's municipal area.
We know that having a prison in Westbury is of interest to people who reside outside the Meander Valley municipality. Those people include the Liberal Government and in particular Minister Archer.
It is clear that this final version of the Bill is targeted at the Westbury prison. This was not in the consultation draft circulated earlier this year. It has been inserted late, without notice and without any opportunity for anyone to comment.
It's there to either scare us witless or to be used against us, or both.
This is how it goes with this Government. If they can't win playing by the rules, they change the rules while trying to beat you into silence or submission.
WRAP calls on the Labor Party to oppose the Major Projects legislation.
Based on our experience to date, you would not trust the Liberal Party as far as you could kick them, and this Bill gives them much more ammunition to use against Tasmanians."
President, WRAP Inc