[MEDIA RELEASE] Northern Regional Prison

Northern Tasmania Development Corporation has reiterated its support of a Northern Regional Prison and welcomed the compromise on location at Westbury.

NTDC chief executive Mark Baker said the jobs in construction and ongoing operation of the prison were needed now more than ever.

“The independent Social and Economic Impact Study shows the $270 million development will create 739 additional full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 372 ongoing jobs during operation,” Mr Baker said.

“As well as a $280 million economic output during construction, a further $268 million output will come from prison operations.”

Mr Baker added it was the multiplier effect of that investment where Meander Valley and greater Northern Tasmania can really benefit.

“These jobs and the income generated in Northern Tasmania will be an ongoing source of sustained economic growth over the next decade.”

Mr Baker noted the future construction of the prison made planning for an appropriate skills pipeline more pressing and also presented an opportunity during operation to apply leading economic principles such as the circular economy.

NTDC recognised the community feedback on the initial site and was pleased the study showed many people would be more supportive of the prison if it was located further from the town.

“The state government has selected a site that is 5.2 kilometres from the town centre, which we hope will allay many of the objections raised by some in the community.”

Mr Baker said with almost half of Tasmania’s prison population in the state’s north and north-west, a Northern Regional Prison would also help improve inmate support and rehabilitation.

“Creating that support network leads to better rehabilitation outcomes and lower rates of recidivism,” Mr Baker said.