A HEATED encounter between anti-Regent Square development protesters and state government ministers took place at George Town yesterday.
Heritage Minster Brian Wightman and Children's Minister Michelle O'Byrne were forced to defend the government's preferred site for the proposed $6.4 million single-storey hub that would include a LINC, Service Tasmania and departmental offices, and a child and family centre.
Former George Town councillor Graeme Neilsen, who opposes the hub's location, said the government was not listening to the community's concerns about preserving the historic park.
The project has been approved by the George Town Council, Tasmanian Heritage Council and Tasmanian Planning Commission.
"We are not against the child and family centre," Mr Neilsen said. "We have a new sports facility and one of the conditions was that there was not enough parking to facilitate the CBD, the shops and the supermarket, and so this site was designated for the car park.
"The council have spent more than $90,000 on the car park and it is just awaiting a seal - there are plenty of other sites to build the centre."
Mr Wightman said the George Town hub would create about 90 jobs during construction as well as positions in the centre.
He said it was important for George Town that the hubs was in a central location for all to access.
"We must improve literacy and numeracy rates in Tasmania," Mr Wightman said.
"It has been through a number of processes that have been approved, people have had their chance to appeal and have their say, and this is exactly where it should be built."