The time has come for Labor leader Rebecca White to make clear Labor’s position on a new northern prison.
Ms White must answer the following simple questions:
- Does Labor support a new prison for Northern Tasmania?
- Does Labor support the preferred site near Valley Central industrial precinct outside of Westbury?
- If they don’t support the preferred site, where exactly would Labor build a new prison?
Labor MPs are happy to run a constant scare campaign throughout Westbury about the Government’s preferred site for the new prison without making their own position clear.
In May 2017, Rebecca White and Labor announced a woefully inadequate $40 million commitment to build a Northern Prison.*
By January 2018, Rebecca White and Labor had performed their first backflip on the Northern Prison, instead trying to fool locals into believing they would renovate the Launceston Reception Centre.**
A few weeks ago, Labor’s fly in, fly out Member for Lyons Jen Butler said on radio, “We do agree there should be a Northern Prison.”***
To make matters worse, on 30 September 2019, Labor’s corrections’ spokesperson Ella Haddad said to the media she had no problem with the Westbury location****, only to be contradicted by Rebecca White three days later.*****
How can Labor be taken seriously following this incompetent display of no less than five distinct policy reversals on the one prison?
In stark contrast, the Hodgman majority Liberal Government is getting on with the job of working with the local community to deliver our election commitment for the new Northern Regional Prison that will generate significant, ongoing employment in the State’s North and North West.
We have rolled out a major planned community consultation program which has included weekly community drop-in sessions and many other channels for local feedback. At the same time, local Liberal State MPs have been personally meeting with local residents and business owners to understand their thoughts about this important project.
*The Examiner, 31 May 2017
**Rebecca White media release, 22 January 2018
***ABC Hobart Mornings, 9 October 2019
****Ella Haddad doorstop Hobart, 30 September 2019
*****Rebecca White doorstop Launceston, 3 October 2019
Elise Archer, Minister for Corrections