Who will pay?
WHAT the powers-that-be fail to see is the hidden gem in front of them. Amid the prison debate and the platitudes of investment, jobs and plans of future expansion, who is going to pay? It won’t be a one-off cost, it will be an ongoing burden. I am not convinced Westbury or any place deserves to be the preferred site. It will stand as an edifice of failure to address the underlying problems of overcrowding and a system that needs to be overhauled. Penal Reform International recommendations include: investing in non-custodial alternatives both pre-trial and post sentencing; diverting minor cases out of the justice system; investing in long-term crime prevention; reducing pre-trial detention by improving access to justice; making alternative arrangements for vulnerable groups such as children, mothers with dependent children and people with mental health issues.
Meanwhile, visitor estimates for Westbury Village from the Tasmanian Visitor Survey: 55,590 visitors; stopped and looked around but did not stay, 21,965, up 11 per cent; passed through, 27,366, down by 19.7 per cent; stayed overnight, 6259, up by 55 per cent; average nights, 5.7 up by 2 per cent; nights stayed, 35,975, up 141 per cent. A great effort for a small community promoting its history, way of life and contributing to the economy.
Marama Eruera Westbury