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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3830..


MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I refer to page 563 of book 4 of the current budget papers, which is the land and property cash flow statement. I note that it is a discontinued area, but I still seek information. Can you please outline the circumstances under which the joint venture with the Gold Creek Country Club was negotiated, and whether the joint venture has yielded the ACT government a net loss or net profit to date?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I do not have those details to hand, and I apologise to Ms Dundas if she has not received the information she has been seeking. I will endeavour to get that information to her before the close of business today.

Temporary remand centre

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections. I refer him to an article in the Canberra Times today, about the five remandees who were sent to Junee due to the lack of a qualified nurse at the temporary remand centre. I quote from the article, which said:

Mr Quinlan said the lack of a nurse to administer methadone was a glitch that he should have been told about earlier. The problem would be fixed within a few days to ensure as few remandees as possible were being sent to New South Wales.

I will also quote from a media release issued by Mr Smyth on 9 July this year, which said:

With the budget allocation for the "mini-prison" at Symonston there appears to be no funding for the health services that should accompany it. Adequate health services are vital as there is compelling evidence that a large number of remandees and offenders have issues with mental health, substance abuse, or have a history of sexual and physical abuse.

The government response to recommendation 42 of the Estimates Committee report on how remandees' health needs will be met stated, "Health services will be provided as required at the temporary remand centre." Minister, when was the lack of a nurse at the temporary remand centre brought to your attention?

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Stefaniak. The answer to that is yesterday.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, why did you not provide for a nurse when you developed proposals for the temporary remand centre, when you developed the corrections budget for the year 2002-03 or, indeed, when the Estimates Committee drew it to your attention?

MR QUINLAN: Let me say, for Mr Stefaniak's benefit, that the whole process of the various services set up at the remand centre was negotiated through between Corrections and Health. I was not in the room, so I don't know whether we had a little bureaucratic tug of war or whether we had a misunderstanding as to the level of requirement right up until the last moment. But certainly there had been an agreement between the agencies to provide the mental health services, the drug and alcohol counselling and the appropriate nursing services.


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