Since September last year, the announcement of the preferred site for the Northern Regional Prison at Westbury has been a topic of discussion for many in the Meander Valley region.
With the state government, the community, the council, northern organisations and everyone in between weighing in on the debate.
Here is a summary of the events so far.
Meander Valley Council
In 2018, the council's former general manager Martin Gill wrote to the owners of the Birralee Road site and others in the municipality encouraging an Expression of Interest to sell land to the state government for the prison.
He then emailed councillors to inform them he was contacting landowners before two EOIs were submitted in November 2018.
The EOI period closed in November 2018 and there were 10 applications received for the new prison.
Announcement of site
Five shortlisted sites were recommended to Corrections Minister Elise Archer in March 2019.
In September last year the government announced the Westbury site, two-kilometres north of the town, was the preferred site for the $270-million Northern Regional Prison.
Stage one of the prison will house 140 prisoners in the next five years and at full operation in the next 10 years will house 270 inmates.
Days after the announcement Ms Archer was "very confident" the community would see the construction as a positive.
Residents' concerns and praise
Following the announcement some residents raised concerns about the lack of consultation before the announcement and the feeling the prison was set in stone.
The main concerns raised are the impact on tourism, property prices, safety and the closeness of the site to the town centre.
In November, Labor revealed the four other shortlisted sites for the prison following a Right to Information request.
The sites included land on Stowport Road at Wivenhoe and two at Latrobe - one on Henry Street and one on Palmers Road.
A parcel of land next door to residential properties in Rocherlea was also proposed to the Justice Department.
The land, which backs on to homes on Waratah Road, was struck off the shortlist after assessment, however.
The names of organisations which submitted proposals under the EOI process were withheld due to commercial-in-confidence protocols.
Nine members were on the Northern Prison Siting Panel that identified the Birralee Road site as the preferred site.
The panel included senior staff from the Justice Department, State Growth, Tasmanian Health Service, Infrastructure Tasmania and Tasmanian Police assistant commissioner Richard Cowling.
Their assessment criteria included the site's access to legal, welfare, health and emergency services as well as access to court, relatives and friends, and education and training.
The government is now assessing the social and economic impact on Westbury and the region from the proposed prison.
Government's consultation process
In October, the government held two drop-in information sessions for residents, sent information via mail to households in the area and had project officers doorknocking on premises in Westbury.
In December Ms Archer had three engagement sessions involving residents booking a time for a one-on-one conversation with the minister, before a public meeting was held at the Westbury Town Hall.
Ms Archer reiterated the proposed site at Westbury was not a done deal and community consultation would continue.
People opposed to the project have voiced their frustrations with consultation protocols and claim their concerns are not being recognised or addressed.
A definitive date by which a decision must be made on the site has not been announced by the government.
- September 2018: EOI for site released
- November 2018: EOI for site closed
- March 2019: Five shortlisted sites given to minister
- September 2019: Westbury revealed as the preferred prison site
- November 2019: Labor RTI request reveals four other shortlisted sites
- December 2019: State government's community consultation