WRAP - No prison in Westbury
WRAP media release - 20 July 2021

Government's attitude to Brushy Rivulet reserve hypocritical

Today, we have called on Ministers Jaensch, Petrusma and Barnett to urgently investigate the circumstances leading to how inside information was given to wood-hookers, directing them to fell trees on the proposed prison site on Sunday.

We also called upon them to urgently take steps to protect the reserve by securing the gates to the reserve thereby preventing unauthorised vehicular access. We make this call particularly in light of the Premier's acknowledgement in Parliament in June that the reserve has sensitive natural values.

"I have received deafening silence in relation to these requests, which goes to show that the Ministers in this government do not share any sense of urgency about this," said Linda Poulton.

"I attended the site again yesterday to investigate another unknown vehicle parked on the reserve, together with other locals.

When we walked onto the reserve, we saw that the Project Manager for the Prison, Mr Colin Shepherd was also on site. Mr Shepherd advised that he was there to check the unlawful tree felling which had occurred and confirmed that it had not been authorised.

We passed on our demand for the government to secure the reserve to avert further illegal wood-hooking, especially from those who might be deliberately sent in the direction of the prison site.

Mr Shepherd said that this was not a matter for him, but for Parks and Wildlife Services as the manager of the land. He did not seem to share any sense of urgency about this step and suggested that we should pass that on ourselves.

We again call on the government to condemn the wood-hooking incident.

We also call on the government to immediately advise the public what steps it intends to take to ensure that such incidents cannot occur on the reserve in future.

At the moment it is being left up to community members to police such illegal activity on the reserve and if the government continues to abrogate responsibility, taking steps to properly secure the reserve will also unavoidably be placed squarely into community hands," said Linda Poulton.

Linda Poulton
Spokesperson & Vice-President, WRAP Inc


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