A community consultation process will be undertaken to obtain the views of the local community regarding the future use of the Ashley Youth Detention Centre (AYDC) site, many of whom have already suggested it be the site for a Northern correctional facility.

While no decision has been made on moving the Northern correctional facility, an initial evaluation indicates the AYDC site is well suited for a modern, state-of-the art correctional facility in Northern Tasmania with a rehabilitative focus.

The consultation process will be facilitated by the Department of Justice and will enable the community to have their say in a number of ways.

The initial engagement focus will be with the immediate neighbours, followed by feedback from the broader Meander Valley and surrounding communities.

Community engagement will include:

  • a ‘shop front’ style information booth in Deloraine and its surrounds, to provide information to, and hear directly from, community members;
  • a dedicated website with up to date information; and
  • opportunities for the community to express their views and provide feedback either by phone, email or by written submission.

Following this process, the Government will then decide whether to move the correctional facility to the AYDC site or to continue on the existing site at Birralee Road.

I  re-emphasise that no decision has been made and our focus is purely on what the community’s view is on the use of the AYDC site.

Importantly, we remain committed to delivering the Northern correctional facility project that will create jobs and investment in the North, while providing a modern facility that will be specifically designed to ensure better outcomes for offenders and their families.

As part of this consultation, I reiterate that the Northern correctional facility will have a rehabilitative focus and to deliver this, we will now invest in more maximum security facilities at the Risdon Prison Complex.

This will include the necessary investment of $50 million into the development of a new maximum security unit within the existing Risdon Complex.

This unit will help to alleviate the immediate bed pressures that exist for the most serious offenders and enable us to prioritise the Northern facility primarily for rehabilitation of offenders who are progressing through their sentences and starting to prepare for reintegration into the community.

The Government’s clear focus will be to now hear directly from the local community on the use of the AYDC site.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General and Minister for Corrections