Northern prison dispute rages on
There's been drilling on the land earmarked for the planned northern prison near Westbury after delays the state government claims were caused by protesters.
Opposition to the project includes perceived environmental impact on fauna and a broader resistance to the social ramifications of a correctional facility on the doorstep of a heritage tourist town.
Meander Valley Mayor Wayne Johnston told Tasmania Talks, as a planning authority, the council has to remain impartial.
"A lot of people say you're not listening to the community but we are, we get emails, we get phone calls, we have face to face meetings with people, we're listening, don't get me wrong, certainly listening to what they've got to say, even though we might not be doing what some of them want us to do, that's a different story."
The Greens Rosalie Woodruff calls the Brushy Rivulet land unique, with many special species calling it home.
"It's got a whole bunch of threatened species that the government admits are on the site, masked owls, grey gosshawks, blue pin cushions, wedge tailed eagles in the area, Tassie devils in the area, it's an extraordinary place."
The state government labels the prison as a vital project set to create more than 1,000 jobs and deliver an economic boost of $500 million to the region.