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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1355..


MR MOORE (continuing):

That report having been presented, the government said, "Yes, we have looked at the committee report; we have taken it into account; we take your recommendation, which gave us a couple of options, and we choose the option which is consistent with the Territory Plan, Symonston." That was the logical thing for us to do, and that is why I say that it would take a decision of a catastrophic nature for us to say, "No, it goes to a different site." We are following the recommendation of the Assembly committee and remaining consistent with the Territory Plan. That is the correct thing for us to do.

That does not mean to say that we shouldn't continue our consultation processes, as we are doing, to make sure that where issues are raised by residents of the area we listen to them and see if we can resolve any of the issues that they raise, while still continuing to remain consistent with the Territory Plan and consistent with the recommendation of the Assembly committee. That is what we are intending to do.

I say to Mr Hargreaves, through you, Mr Speaker, that at this stage there is no financial allowance in the budget for the prison because we haven't decided yet that we will have a prison.

MR HARGREAVES: My supplementary is this: isn't it then a financial reality that because of the government's spending spree there won't be any money left to pay for the prison and that this whole process is a farce because the prison will be privately funded? Even then, you still won't have the money to rent this place from the private owner?

MR MOORE: In effect, Mr Speaker, I am being asked to announce government policy.

MR SPEAKER: You are. There is a hypothetical in that.

MR MOORE: I can see you looking at standing orders. There is a way we can work around that.

Mr Hargreaves, there is a series of options for government. Those options for funding a facility like this will be considered by cabinet-later this month, I hope. That decision will be made after I have taken the Rengain report to cabinet. I have indicated to members of the Justice and Community Safety Committee that I will provide them with a copy of the Rengain report as quickly as quickly as possible so that they can see the information upon which we based our decision.

Just as an aside, Mr Speaker, it is interesting that one of the consultants who helped prepare the work for the corrections facility has been involved in many jurisdictions in considering these issues. No jurisdiction has looked anywhere near as thoroughly at the decision-making process as has the ACT. We are doing it thoroughly; we are doing it carefully; and we are doing it in an open fashion.

Drugs

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for health and it is about drugs. He is probably reluctant to take a question on drugs but I am sure he can handle it. I have been reading through the budget tabled yesterday and I am struggling to find any major significant money that has been spent either on drug education or rehabilitation. Could he point it out to me?


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