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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3052..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

applying an out of sight, out of mind approach to the rehabilitation of young people in the territory. It may be in the end that the Fyshwick site will be found to be the most suitable. However, it will not be because the site is away from people, as Mr Seselja has put it.

Mr Seselja frequently stands up in this place calling for more infrastructure in Gungahlin. The Gungahlin Community Council recognises that having a new youth detention centre in that community could lead to further services developing around it. It would be great if Mr Seselja also could see the benefits of the sites in Gungahlin.

Mr Seselja has also sought to rely on the Human Rights Act to attack the government's attempt to put right the mistakes of previous governments in relation to the Quamby centre. Only this morning, his party voted against important changes to the Human Rights Act. We believe that there is a need for the Human Rights Act. We believe that the government should strive to have a youth detention centre that is in compliance with human rights requirements. We believe that governments should undertake the difficult exercise of balancing the human rights of residents, staff and the wider community. Whilst this exercise may lead to difficult decisions and flack from our political opponents, it is nonetheless necessary to ensure the protection of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Since its establishment, the Quamby Youth Centre has not been human rights compliant. However, with the passing of the Human Rights Act and then the independent human rights audit, the breaches and the extent of those breaches have come to light, and this government is working to address all of those. We have prioritised the needs of young people in detention in the ACT. We have made significant improvements, where possible, for the young people currently at Quamby. We have a transportable building on the way to improve accommodation options.

We have nominated four possible sites for the new centre and we have allocated $40 million for that centre. We know that we have to balance community views with those of the young people who need and rely on our protection. This government understands the need to rehabilitate young people in touch with juvenile justice. They are not inmates, they are not prisoners, they are not in prison; they are young people who deserve our support and deserve their rightful place in our community.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Personal explanations

MR SMYTH (Brindabella-Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Do you claim to have been misrepresented?

MR SMYTH: Yes I do, Mr Speaker. On the radio this morning the health minister, Simon Corbell, said in regard to a story about the opposition's criticism of the minister's achievements in breast cancer screening:


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