Visit Wollondilly because you want to, not because you have to!
Posted on: 08.12.2016
Councillors formally rejected the proposal for a Correctional Precinct in Wollondilly during last night’s Extraordinary Meeting of Wollondilly Shire Council. The proposal for a gaol in Wollondilly met with strong opposition with all Councillors opposing the 5000 bed “precinct”.
In the hours preceding the Extraordinary Meeting, Council received advice that the Minister for Corrections, David Elliot was no longer considering Wollondilly as an option. Council welcomed this news but nevertheless reiterated its opposition to the suggestion of any gaol in the Shire.
In their discussions and resolution last night Councillors expressed concerns relating to the potential loss of prime agricultural lands, adverse social impacts, lack of community consultation, impact on the Shire’s image as a tourism destination, and the fact that there are much better suited regional locations in need of this kind of investment by the NSW Government.
Mayor for Wollondilly, Cllr Judith Hannan stated that “The 5000 bed gaol would have been massive and completely contrary to the strategic direction of this Council and the community. As I said last night, we want people to visit the amazing Wollondilly because they want to, not because they have to!”
“I and my fellow Councillors would like to thank the Minister of Corrections and our local members, Federal Member, Angus Taylor and State Member, Jai Rowell for their support in working with Council and the NSW Department of Justice to get an outcome that alleviates our community’s concern”.
Council will be writing to the Minister of Corrections to advise him of Council’s position, to thank him for the announcement and to request written confirmation that Wollondilly will not be the site of a gaol.
General Manager, Luke Johnson said: “We are very pleased that Wollondilly is no longer being considered as a site for a new gaol. While we remain prepared to fund a campaign opposing any such proposal if necessary, we are particularly grateful to Minister Elliot for his thoughtful and prompt responsiveness to our Community's concerns.”