A business group has proposed plans to build a $600 million outback prison, dubbed as the 'Australian Alcatraz' for terrorists.
The Alice Springs Major Business Group (ASMBG) is lobbying to build a private prison for criminals who have broken Australian terrorism rules in the middle of Central Australia, Northern Territory - 15 hours from the nearest capital city.
David Batic, who chairs the business group, said the detention centre would be a 'centralised USA-style federal penitentiary', built at the standard of a high security prison.
Mr Batic wrote a letter to the Northern Territory's Chief Minister Michael Gunner about ASMBG's awareness of problems managing locked-up terrorists in Australia.
In the letter, he said building the prison in Central Australia would be the appropriate solution.
The building would cost between $450-600 million and could be eligible for funds from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund - the Federal Government's loan scheme.
Mr Gunner told the Northern Territory Parliament on Tuesday a prison for terrorists was not part of the government's initial plan to develop Alice Springs but said there will be no interference with private proposals.
Opposition Leader Gary Higgins compared the project to notorious prisons in the United States used to detain suspected terrorists, and said the proposal would affect the state's tourism.
'How can the government even consider building the equivalent to Guantanamo Bay just down the road from some of the country's most important cultural and tourism locations?' he said.
'The Opposition supports initiatives to grow the Territory economy, but does not support prison pursuits that seek to attract terrorists, not tourists, to Central Australia.'
The proposed development was likened to the infamous Alcatraz island prison in San Francisco Bay, California, built with the requirements of a high security prison, which prison workers believe is escape-proof.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.