Meander Valley councillors found out about the proposed northern prison site at Westbury at the same time the community did says councillor Andrew Sherriff, labelling the process s--t.
Public question time at the Meander Valley Council's meeting on Tuesday was again dominated by the proposed project.
Residents asked why they did not know about the plans earlier, what staff and councillors knew about the EOI last year and why acting general manager Jonathan Harmey was answering all the questions as councillors, who the community elected, remained silent.
Former general manager Martin Gill, who resigned in September, wrote to the owners of the Birralee Road site last year encouraging an Expression of Interest to sell land to the state government for the prison.
Mr Harmey said Mr Gill emailed councillors to inform them he was contacting landowners before two EOIs were submitted in late November and councillors were provided with details.
A question from the public was directed at Cr Sherriff, who was elected in October 2018, about the site and he said he had not been impressed by the procedure.
"I found out about the location of the prison when you found out about it... we've got no application, no information, we know as much about it as you guys do," he said.
"This is not our fault, we did not cause this, I joined the council after all this was in the pipeline."
MORE ON THE WESTBURY PRISON:
- Archer assures Westbury that prison decision still open
- Many Westbury residents 'hostile' to jail plan
- Northern Tasmanian prison site revealed
- Michael Polley says Westbury not right place for new prison
- Northern Tasmania Development Corporation defends prison
- Westbury should sense opportunity, mayor of council with three prisons says
- Meander councillor John Temple questions prison plans
- Drop-in information sessions confirmed for Westbury prison
- Elise Archer talks up proposed Northern Regional Prison
The EOI period closed in November 2018 before shortlisted sites were recommended to Corrections Minister Elise Archer in March this year and the plans for the prison at Westbury were revealed in September.
Cr Sheriff said there were Westbury residents on the council who were as concerned as the community with the consultation process.
"Give us a break, the process is s--t," he said.
"We have a difficult role on this table, I've lost a lot of respect in the community with the ways yous have acted.
"Put yourself in our position as elected members and just have a think about how you would feel being chastised and emailed four times a day about information we have no idea about."
A recent survey undertaken by the Local Government Association of Tasmania found 60 per cent of councillors, who responded to the survey, indicated they had experienced online bullying and harassment.
Survey results showed a greater proportion of the state's councillors reported online bullying and harassment than the national figures in the Yellow Social Media Report.
Ms Archer will meet with residents on Monday at 5.30pm at the Westbury Town Hall to discuss the northern prison site.