Quite happy until this grenade
I HAVE always voted Liberal as the philosophy and vision of Menzies fits well with me. The freedom of the individual at the centre of economic and social life. That change not be forced on the people by the government. Wow, the Tasmanian Liberals have pooped all over poor Menzies in the way they have gone about Westbury prison. In nearly every respect the site is unsuitable. It is in full view of tourists travelling into Tasmania from the North with the main road overlooking the prison for a couple of kilometres. It is close to town, nearly as big as Westbury and visible from much of the town. Westbury has significant Tasmanian and Australian history. It has country people, families, horse lovers, farmers, hobby farmers and mainlanders.
What we have in common is that we were quite happy before the prison hand grenade was thrown our way. A few days before, something exciting happened, the IGA opened and everyone was chatting about it as a great positive. Almost before the paint was dry, a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians sneaked into town and announced a prison. In one fell swoop, forcing normal private people into a fight they never sought, families into taking sides, older residents losing sleep, parents concerned about children, all of us into the unknown. The party I have always respected for integrity has shown me a side Menzies would not for a minute condone. Simon Manche Westbury
Chalk and cheese
TO Mark Pearce (Letters, November 5), I spent much of my formative years in the South and was a regular visitor to Geilston Bay. Geilston Bay, while beautiful, is not a tourism destination. It is a mere 8km from the capital, so destined to expand, no matter what was in the next suburb. Westbury is a tourism town and 36km from Launceston, too far to be absorbed into the urban sprawl. Your nearest Woolworths is in Lindisfarne, less than 2km away. Ours is in Deloraine, 19km away.
Geilston Bay has high schools (Rose Bay 4.1km, Clarence 7km, New Town, Ogilvie, Cosgrove), colleges (Rosny 5km, EC 8km), banks, regular buses, hospitals and shopping centres. We do not have these things and because of distance will likely never have them. Our village is too small to absorb the sheer volume of people a 270-bed prison would bring. Martin Hamilton Westbury
What about lockdowns?
EVERY Tasmanian should visit the preferred prison site on Birralee Rd, Westbury, 2km from our village business centre and less than 400m from where people live. The Government forked out $250,000 of your money for the decision to put a prison here. It is near the industrial site of a farm machine manufacturer, home builder, fish food plant, bulk fuel outlets, bulk gas plant, engineering firm and one of the world’s largest drug producers. Most have public access parking for their employees, about 200 vehicles a day. The average person could predict the potential hazards in placing a maximumsecurity prison in this area.
Should the prison go into lockdown, will those businesses be forced to stop production? Will government compensate for this loss? Will this force some businesses to move causing the loss of jobs and millions of dollars to our local economy? Too many questions, too many risks. David Gibson Westbury
Pleasure to stop by
STICK to your guns, residents. We thought it was going to be a disaster when the main road bypassed Westbury but it turned out to be a pleasant village that is always a pleasure to stop off at on journeys to the North-West. This Government says the people are Nimbies. Why don’t they build a jail at Mt St Canice in Sandy Bay. The infrastructure is there. Quite a few readers think Westbury is the best place for a jail. They don’t live there. Ray Wakefield Claremont
ASHLEY Detention Centre is a stepping stone to Risdon. The Hayes minimum security facility was sold in 2012 because the then Labor government needed funds as a consequence of economic ineptitude. Kids need direction away from that they have fallen prey to. Education, exercise, mentoring, no mobiles, no access to drugs and above all focused care. Hayes Prison Farm was a stepping stone to normal life, Ashley to more crime and longer incarceration. I’m not highly educated, however, the fix is as clear as the nose on your face. Interact, educate and provide an environment that diverts kids to another direction. Stewart Edwards Mt Stuart