WRAP - No prison in Westbury
WRAP media release - 9 December 2021

It ain't over til it's over

"The Department of Justice has taken three months to again announce that it will consult on the future potential of the Ashley Youth Detention Site to be used for the Northern Regional Prison. Today's announcement adds little, if anything, to the statement made in September 2021.

WRAP naturally welcomes the proposal to consult the Deloraine community in advance, because this courtesy was not afforded to Westbury, and it shows that the Government has lifted its game.

But our municipality is now, divisively, being asked to make a choice between two sites, and the Minister's release suggests that the decision will be made solely on who wants it the least.

The community meeting in Deloraine in August this year showed the significant level of opposition to the Brushy Rivulet reserve site. Clearly, there is no social licence for it to go there.

Ongoing and growing opposition to the Brushy Rivulet reserve must be taken into account for any consultation process to have merit. The question is: how will community sentiment on the Brushy Rivulet reserve be assessed?

And whilst consultation is critical, the merits of the respective sites will also need to be balanced out.

Today's announcement does not provide closure for WRAP. We have been told that the architectural tender process for the Brushy Rivulet reserve has been put on hold while the Government nuts this out, but the refusal to abandon the Brushy Rivulet site altogether means we cannot and will not be complacent.

The Federal Government could stop the prison at the reserve with the stroke of a pen. It would then be dead in the water, regardless of what the State Government does or doesn't do with the Ashley site.

Today's announcement has no impact whatsoever on our Federal election campaign. Unless Environment Minister Sussan Ley declares the Brushy Rivulet reserve as off limits, we will have no choice but to lobby people not to vote for the Liberal candidate for Lyons in the upcoming election, and that's exactly what we'll do".

Linda Poulton
President and Spokesperson, WRAP Inc


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