WRAP - No prison in Westbury

Alarm at firewood damage

By Rosemary Murphy
The Mercury
20 July 2021

Residents opposing the development of the Northern Regional Prison near Westbury are concerned about damage caused to the crown land after they say a group illegally cut a trailer load of firewood and felled a tree on the site at Brushy Rivulet.

Concerned Residents Opposed to the Westbury Prison Site spokesman Aaron Reader said anyone on the site was potentially doing damage to habitats, including that of the endangered Tasmanian masked owl and could also impact dusk time assessments.

"We're just a little concerned some people may be taking matters into their own hands given the publicity on the site and the amount of conflict within the community,' Mr Reader said.

"We're concerned people are ... damaging or interfering with the site to eliminate problems for the government because they want the prison to go ahead."

Police were called on Sunday to the site after residents alerted them to the group that claimed to have permits to take the firewood, but were unable to produce them. The group left before police arrived.

A government spokesman said it was "a suspected case of illegal firewood harvesting" and it was not aware of any authorised tree felling on the Westbury site.

Greens spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff said the reports were extremely concerning.


Return to list of articles