Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment Spokesperson
The Greens were proud to table a petition on behalf of the Westbury community, calling on the Government to halt its plans for the northern prison.
The proposed site for the new northern prison is completely inappropriate and has no social licence. The lack of community support was made clear by the strength of the petition the Greens tabled in State Parliament today.
Over 450 residents signed a Parliamentary e-petition, and another 419 a paper petition, detailing their serious concerns with the impact of the proposed prison on threatened species at the Birralee Road site.
The Liberals rushed into selecting this second prison location in a panic, and it’s very clear what a mistake they made in their choice.
The Westbury Reserve site they selected has important habitat for rare, vulnerable, and endangered species, including the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, Tasmanian devil, masked owl, grey goshawk, and green and gold frog. These values are exactly why it was originally purchased for protection by the State Government as part of our Reserve Estate.
Instead of a site for a prison, is is already a haven for migratory birds that fly to Tasmania to breed, and for endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. The recent tragic road death of a juvenile Tasmanian devil is more evidence that healthy devils live in this area.
The clearing of 16 hectares of habitat on the Reserve, and the prison’s 24-hour lights and noise, including sirens, would have a serious impact on the survival of insects, mammals, birds and plants.
The idea of using Westbury Reserve as a prison location is not only deeply divisive, it’s a plan for environmental destruction.
The Greens support the Westbury and Birralee communities. We urge the Liberals to ditch their plan to build a prison on this site, and instead list it as a Conversation Area to preserve its biodiversity.