The plan for a second prison in Tasmania is on track with expressions of interest for potential locations expected to open.
The Examiner understands Corrections Minister Elise Archer will announce the opening of the EOI process for Northern Tasmanian landowners interested in submitting their sites on Thursday.
Construction of the 270-bed Northern Prison is expected to get underway next year, and will include remand facilities and a women’s prison.
It was initially expected the prison would be located near Launceston, in the North, but during budget estimates earlier this year Ms Archer said the state government was also looking at potential sites in the North-West.
A number of Northern councils have already expressed interest in having the prison built within their municipalities, including Meander Valley, Northern Midlands, Dorset and George Town.
The state government-funded facility will cost about $270 million in total to build, with the first 140 beds planned within five years.
The prison is expected to ease pressure on Risdon Prison, which houses about 280 prisoners.
Nearly half of those currently in custody at the southern facility are from the North of the state.
Expressions of interest will close mid-November, with a special panel to recommend a short list to the minister.
While submissions from landowners will be accepted, it is understood the Department of Justice will continue to explore potential Crown land options and work with relevant state and federal government agencies, local councils, utility companies, the property sector and economic development groups.
The project is expected to create 3375 direct and indirect jobs.
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