A home for convicted child molesters has not yet decided whether it will leave the Ellendale community despite bullying, intimidation and, most recently, an arson attack on the property.
Prisoners Legal Service chairman Greg Barns and Freedom Centre director Elizabeth Coleman met with Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin on Friday to discuss recent tensions in the small community.
This came a day after Dr Goodwin met with an action group instigating the removal of the Freedom Centre from Ellendale.
Dr Goodwin has said that the government would consider looking at regulations to do with independently-run homes that housed groups of former prisoners.
She said on Friday that the government would work with the two parties to relocate the men as soon as possible but would help with funding in doing so.
But Mr Barns said regulating where former prisoners lived would be comparable to Apartheid.
“It’s important to recognise the law which seems to be missing in this debate,” he said.
“Once a person has served their term of imprisonment … people are entitled to live wherever they see fit.”
Mrs Coleman said no decision had been made by the Freedom Centre to relocate.
“Nobody is trying to force us out at the moment. We’re talking constructively with the government about our future and all I can say is that it looks good.”
Opposition justice spokeswoman Lara Giddings called on the government to show leadership and ensure the safety of the community and the former prisoners.
She said the government shouldn’t be looking at more regulation of private centres that house former prisoners but by reinstating the prisoner public housing program formerly run by the Salvation Army.
Ms Giddings claimed less than $300,000 in savings made when the program was cut.
The recent targeting of three identified child molesters follows new expanded powers granted to police in December on reportable child sex offenders.
Police are now allowed to publish photographs and personal details of a reportable child sex offender when their whereabouts were unknown or when they failed to comply with reporting obligations.
Australian Lawyers Alliance state president Henry Pill said the organisation urged Tasmania Police to exercise the new powers with caution.