The Northern Tasmania Development Corporation (NTDC) has come out in support of the Northern Prison located near the Westbury Industrial Estate.
Maree Tetlow, CEO of NTDC stated that “the proposed location looks like an excellent site – it is adjacent to an active industrial site, very close to the Bass Highway, and central to the North and North West of Tasmania to allow access for workers and families of inmates.”
“The construction of stage 1 alone over the next five years will deliver about $160M in economic output for Meander Valley and provide 733 jobs.” This information is based on NTDC’s Economy ID Economic Modelling.
“A similar additional economic value and jobs will be produced for construction of Stage 2.
At Stage 1 if we assume that 140 people are employed – that will generate an additional 27 jobs in the community to service those jobs. The total value to Meander Valley is an additional $35M per year from the first year of operation, increasing to $62M per year by the time it is fully operational.”
In regard to house prices, the State Government’s case study based on New South Wales has reported that initial concerns about decreasing property values were not realised there, and property prices in the surrounding areas experienced an increase in value.
Ms Tetlow said that “house prices are a result of a range of factors, including access to jobs and services. The increase of construction workers, prison employees, prison service providers, and the additional workers supporting new jobs in hospitality, shops, service stations and so on – is likely to be an upward push on house prices. Westbury is so beautiful I would suggest people that can access a job will jump at the chance to live in the area.”
“The proposed location of the prison is more than 2kms away from the town, it isn’t visible from the town, plus it is adjacent to some big industrial facilities.
“I would imagine the value of the industrial land will also increase as more opportunities develop with servicing the prison.” Ms Tetlow said
“It is understandable that initially residents will be confronted about a new development like this, but once all the facts are understood, I hope their concerns will be eased. I congratulate Meander Valley Council on their resolve and working to support new industries in the area.”
The Northern Tasmania Development Corporation (NTDC) is the regional economic development agency owned by seven councils in Northern Tasmania, specifically: George Town; City of Launceston; Break O’Day; West Tamar; Northern Midlands; Meander Valley; and Flinders.