The Tasmanian Government remains committed to delivering the Northern Correctional Facility project to provide better rehabilitation and reintegration outcomes for offenders and their families.

That’s why we have engaged with the local community regarding the future use of the Ashley Youth Detention Centre (AYDC) site and its suitability as the site for a modern, fit for purpose correctional facility.

The consultation process has provided a comprehensive overview of community attitudes within the Meander Valley, and for a proposal of this nature, there is an encouraging level of community support for the AYDC site to be considered.

As a result, we will now commence due diligence investigations at the AYDC site, which will involve continued engagement with local landholders and the community.

The AYDC site is now the only site we are considering for the Northern Correctional Facility, and therefore we will halt the work currently being conducted at the Crown Land site at Birralee Road.

I thank the residents of the Meander Valley community for their valuable feedback and participation in this extensive consultation process, which included a bulk mail out to more than 6,000 delivery points through Australia Post, direct contact with near neighbours of the site, advertisements in multiple local newspapers, and shop front/drop-in sessions held at several locations at different times throughout the day over a five week period.

A total of 143 people attended these drop-in sessions across Deloraine, Westbury and Elizabeth Town, with 125 written submissions also received, including feedback forms provided at the drop-in sessions, e-submissions and postal submissions.

A copy of the consultation report can be found at: http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/ncf

This important project will ensure the Tasmania Prison Service has modern, fit for purpose, secure facilities that allow for a strong focus on rehabilitation for offenders who are progressing through their sentences and starting to prepare for reintegration into the community.

I look forward to continuing to progress the new correctional facility in the months ahead.

Elise Archer, Minister for Corrections and Rehabilitation