ACT Prison

Thank you for your letter of 31 March 1999 about the location of the proposed prison for the ACT.

The Secretary

Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety

ACT Legislative Assembly


Dear Ms Clapin

Thank you for your letter of 31 March 1999 about the location of the proposed prison for the ACT.

The Weston Creek Community Council has not yet considered this matter and this is not seen as being a controversial issue for our local community. I believe that the residents of Weston Creek would welcome a local prison for the ACT principally because of the hardship caused to the relatives of prisoners when prisoners are sent interstate under the present arrangements. I further believe that residents would support this move even if there is a financial disadvantage over the present arrangements.

With the exception of the Honeysuckle site I believe that Weston Creek residents would have no opinion on one site over another. Honeysuckle is a very attractive site but its chief disadvantage is the distance from the prison to Canberra and lack of public transport. This would not only make it difficult for people to visit and work at the prison but would also add to the costs of providing services to it.

I also note that over the years there have been a number of examples of prisons being located within or close to towns and villages without too much impact. The residents of Cooma, for example, recently campaigned unsuccessfully for the Cooma prison to be maintained as a correctional facility and prisons in Berrima and East Maitland (has closed or is about to close) have operated without public comment for a number of years.

On a personal level I agree with your stipulations about the land sizes needed for the prison because there needs to be sufficient land to allow for work and recreational opportunities for prisoners as part of the rehabilitation process. I also agree that security needs to be a primary consideration and residents’ fears in this regard needs to be fully addressed.

I will raise this issue at the next meeting of the Weston Creek Community Council and I will contact you again only if the opinion at the meeting differs from the one I have offered here.


Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposal.


Yours sincerely

Bob Sutherland


Weston Creek Community Council

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