The Westbury community feels as though it has been "deceived" by the state government and the Meander Valley Council over a prison proposed to be built at the town's industrial site.
It was revealed the mayor and several council staff were made to sign a confidentiality notice about the prison during meetings with the state government earlier this year.
Despite not being an agenda item, about 50 locals took to public question time at the council's ordinary meeting on Tuesday.
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Resident Chris Donaldson asked if there was any embargo, instruction or directive of any kind placed on the council by the state government to prevent information being released.
Acting general manager Jonathon Harmey confirmed the arrangement.
"There was a meeting with the state government and that was the end of August. We had three council employees and the mayor, and all of the people in that room signed confidentiality agreements to not release information discussed by the state government at that time," he said.
Mayor Wayne Johnston said there were briefings held around the state with other potential sites, with staff from other councils also signing the form.
Still 20 minutes until the doors for the @mvcouncil meeting open and there are more than 40 residents already lined up to come in. It is understood most are here to ask questions about the proposed new prison despite it not being an agenda item. @ExaminerOnline#politas#LGTaspic.twitter.com/sB00HhDSih— Tarlia Jordan (@tarliaj14) October 8, 2019
"As mayor I was invited to come and sit with the Department of Justice and others to try and get the jail together," he said.
"I could not come into that room without signing that agreement."
The state government has been contacted for comment.
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