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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3036..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

been one exercise done, effectively not under the banner of the Expenditure Review Committee but under the banner of good management-something novel.

MS DUNDAS: Treasurer, are you in a position to table the timetable you are working on as to which area will be under the ERC's eye first-and then as it goes on?

MR QUINLAN: Able, yes. Prepared to? That is something I will have to check with cabinet. As cabinet is working as an ERC, it would necessarily be a cabinet decision to let you know exactly what cabinet was doing-not mine alone.

Remand Centre

MR PRATT: My question is to Mr Quinlan as minister for corrections. I refer to the report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, entitled Inquiry into the establishment of an ACT prison: justification and siting. I quote:

The ACT Government has produced a Cost Benefit Analysis which compares the cost of continuing with the present system to building a new remand centre and building a combined remand and prison facility. The cost benefit analysis indicated that the best option is to construct a combined remand and prison centre.

Minister, you said last Tuesday:

... I want to see financial discipline ... this government is introducing financial responsibility and rigour progressively ... so ... I judged and as a cabinet we judged that it was reasonable to allow $50 million ...

This means that two independent cost-benefit analyses have been done, which have come up with the same finding. Has any rigorous analysis been done which supports your decision and that of cabinet to proceed with a new standalone remand centre, as opposed to a combined remand and prison facility? If so, who has performed that work, and are you prepared to table it? If not, is this an example of the financial responsibility and rigour you were talking about the other day?

MR QUINLAN: Several times I have stated in this place that we have concluded that we do not have a choice in the establishment of a new remand centre-right? This is not financial-

Mr Humphries: We have that bit.

MR QUINLAN: It has taken a while. Beyond that, I have said we will then do the numbers. The numbers are being done internally-we do not want to squander too much money. We are doing the numbers to test whether the previous Rengain figures are valid, whether the previous model was rigorous enough, and whether the increase of that correctional facility to a remand centre and jail is economically justified. Work is in process.

MR PRATT: Minister, why are you reluctant to inform this Assembly and the community of the costs and benefits of your decision to build a standalone remand centre, when the costs and benefits of building a combined remand and prison centre are on the public record?


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