The location for Tasmania’s second prison is expected to be revealed by early 2019.
The promise to build a 270-bed Northern prison was made by the Liberals in January, with $270 million set aside for the project.
The state government confirmed a project manager had now been appointed, with a list of potential site locations were being explored.
“The Department of Justice has developed siting principles and evaluation guidelines to facilitate the identification of suitable sites for the location of the Northern prison,” a spokeswoman said.
”A siting project manager has been appointed to establish a multidisciplinary Panel to conduct targeted consultation with local government representatives, and property experts to identify and evaluate a list of potential site locations, and recommend suitable sites for decision by the government.”
Before the announcement earlier this year, the Meander Valley Council publicly stated it would lobby the government to build the prison next to Ashley Detention Centre near Deloraine.
The state government, however, said the prison would instead be built on a greenfields site closer to Launceston, but a location has yet to be locked in.
It was expected the first stage of construction on the new prison, which would include 140 beds, would commence within the next two years and be completed within five years.
The overall project was expected to create 3375 direct and indirect jobs during construction and once the prison was operating.
Risdon Prison Complex, which is based near Hobart, is Tasmania’s only jail.