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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 204..


MR BARR: In response to Ms Bresnan's question, again, I go to the second part and utterly reject the assertion that the government have, through the process that we have been through around the management structures, in any way sought to reduce the level, quality or extent of education programs as part of our significant capital investment in those facilities. It would be incongruous for the government to invest such a large amount in the infrastructure and then determine that it would not offer, or would in any way reduce, the educational programs. That is just so illogical as to beg the question—and I am concerned that this has not been raised with me before by the Greens—as to why the Greens party believes that this is the case.

It would seem, given the thrust of questions in question time today, that an urgent briefing on this matter needs to be provided to the Greens, and I am very happy to facilitate that, whereby some of the detail that they are seeking in relation to future education programs can be provided. I do not, obviously, have that in front of me today, but I will make sure it is available to Ms Hunter and Ms Bresnan.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: Yes. In relation to that, can the minister provide to the Assembly all information relating to school and preschool feedback on programs conducted at Birrigai and Jerrabomberra wetlands?

MR BARR: Yes.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—opening

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, during the election campaign, we saw the Stanhope-Gallagher government officially open the Alexander Maconochie Centre which was not ready to accept prisoners and will not be for another few months. We also saw the opening of Bimberi when it was not ready to accept young offenders. Chief Minister, why were these facilities officially opened when they were not ready, other than as a pre-election stunt by the Stanhope-Gallagher government?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. The minister, Mr Barr, has just answered the question quite comprehensively in relation to Bimberi, and the answer was quite complete.

The answer is that we, quite rightly and appropriately in relation to both Alexander Maconochie and Bimberi, allowed for a commissioning period, as you would. A corrections facility, most particularly the Alexander Maconochie Centre—a high-security prison, a men's prison, a women's prison, a remand centre, a very complex complex that caters for every category of incarcerated person within the responsibility of the ACT—requires the most sophisticated systems and the most detailed understanding and the highest level of training imaginable.

We will have incarcerated at the Alexander Maconochie Centre a number of murderers, a number of life-sentenced murderers. We will have incarcerated at the Alexander Maconochie Centre a number of people who represent extreme danger to


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