Council receives State Government’s update on Northern Correctional Facility

Posted on January 31, 2023

Northern Correctional Facility Project Team provide Councillors with a briefing update

Representatives from the Tasmanian Government’s Northern Correctional Facility Project Team briefed Meander Valley Councillors at the monthly Council Workshop on 24 January 2023.

Councillors were advised that the current Ashley Youth Detention Centre site is the only site being considered by the Tasmanian Government.

Consultation, particularly with near neighbour property owners is ongoing. Broader public consultation sessions in Deloraine are being planned for mid-February, around the 16th and 19th.

People are curious about what the Northern Correctional Facility would look like. While the design is yet to be progressed in detail, Councillors heard that the correctional facility structure will be a significant building set back from the road on a 38-hectare site. An option to repurpose the existing Ashley Youth Detention Centre facilities as a women’s correctional facility was also being explored.

The site will also focus opportunities for rehabilitation programs in areas such as in agriculture.

Council was advised that more detailed design work will occur in the latter part of this year after completion of several studies and assessments. These studies included natural values, Aboriginal and historic (European) heritage, social and economic impact assessments, traffic impacts, utility needs such as water, electricity and sewerage, bushfire management and more. The Project Team advised of their intent to progressively release the reports of the due diligence investigations to the public at the earliest opportunity, with the natural values report now available. Additional studies would be undertaken as part of the detailed design process.

To help immediate neighbours to understand the scale and nature of the facility, the Project Team had extended an invitation to visit the existing southern correctional facilities at Risdon. Councillors expressed interest in possibly attending one of these site visits and the Project Team indicated that this could be arranged.

Subject to the above consultation and decisions to move forward with the project, a planning application to Meander Valley Council is expected to be made in 2024. If this is approved, construction will take between two and three years and provide hundreds of jobs. When built and operational, about 370 full time jobs would be ongoing.

The Project Team pointed out that the Ashley Youth Detention Centre for the time being remains an operational facility. As such, people may from time to time see routine work and activity at the site that is not related to a new correctional facility.

Mayor Wayne Johnston and Councillors thanked the Northern Correctional Facility Project Team for their update, emphasising that Council would continue to advocate for meaningful and ongoing consultation before any key decisions were made.