WRAP - No prison in Westbury

Westbury prison site moves further from town in response to backlash

The Examiner
18 June 2020

The original site, near the industrial estate on the northern fringe of town, resulted in backlash from the Westbury township. Picture: Neil Richardson

The Tasmanian government has chosen a new site for the proposed $270 million Northern Regional Prison, initially planned for a site in the industrial estate near the town.

Instead, the site will now be 5.2 kilometres from the Westbury town centre on a Crown land site at Brushy Rivulet on Birralee Road.

The decision came following strong backlash from the Westbury community in relation to the original plans, including a poll of residents which found that 42.7 per cent of phone respondents and 45.4 per cent of mail-out respondents would support the prison more if these concerns were addressed.

The backlash from the community has prompted a government rethink.

Attorney-General Elise Archer said preliminary assessments had been carried out on the new site.

"To be clear, the government will not be pursuing the previous preferred site," she said.

"Preliminary analysis of this Crown land site has been undertaken while further, more detailed work on-site will now progress.

"I thank the residents of the Westbury and broader Meander Valley community for their valuable feedback and participation in the extensive consultation process.

"We will now undertake further due diligence of this new site over coming weeks, as well as talking to local landholders and engaging the local community.

"At a time when the state needs jobs more than ever before, we are committed to delivering the Northern Regional Prison in an effective and timely manner."

More to come.


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