WRAP media release - 15 July 2021
Attendance by Minister Archer at public meeting
Minister Archer's proposed gate crashing of the public meeting on the Northern Regional Prison proposal on 11 August 2021 has been met with considerable surprise by members of the Westbury community.
The petition was organised by Westbury Regional Against the Prison and the meeting would not have been convened without the community drive behind the petition.
"We see the Council as the community's vehicle for this meeting but essentially this is a community meeting.
It is fundamental that our members be given primary consultation by the Council about the content, format, location and timing of the meeting," says Linda Poulton.
But this has gotten off to a dismal start.
Council has already failed to consult WRAP about the date and time for the meeting, and now it's trying to lock in pro-prison government representatives and establish the format of the meeting without our input.
"Minister Archer has not made any attempt whatsoever to consult the municipality about locating the proposed prison at the new site, let alone consulting the municipality about whether it wants the Northern Regional Prison at all.
Yet she is now apparently willing to drop everything to consider attending a meeting at Council's beck and call, which goes to show, yet again, that the Council and the Government might as well be lock step on this proposal.
This is a public meeting, driven by the community for the community. It should not be hijacked by the government through Council. The Minister had her public meeting in December 2019. It's time to allow the community to have its own.
I therefore invite the Minister to pick up the phone to have a chat about what has driven our municipality to call for this meeting and how her attendance and participation might be beneficial for all of those who worked so hard to ensure this meeting was held.
Spokesperson & Vice-President, WRAP Inc