Statements by Member - Tasmania: Prisons

I stand because the Tasmanian government is about to start drilling the Westbury prison site, and there are great concerns in the community about this. We've just had heavy rain in Tasmania; we're looking at 50 millimetres in one day. This site was given by the federal government to the Tasmanian government to be environmentally protected and conserved because of its natural values. Locals in that area are concerned. They think the Tasmanian government seems determined to bog up and destroy the flora on the site. This site is very important as a conservation site, because we have frogs, quolls, owls, bandicoots, bettongs and wombats there, and it's also home for wedge-tailed eagles. They're all at threat from this prison proposal.

Don't get me wrong; we need a prison in northern Tasmania. This is the wrong site for it. The selection process for this site was completely flawed, and this is the wrong site for this important project. This site was announced a year ago, and little has been done on it. It's just the wrong site for all sorts of reasons. Locals don't want it—they don't want this prison in their area—and, most importantly, the land has been recognised at federal and state levels for its conservation values. It deserves to be protected.