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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (9 February) . . Page.. 90..


MR HANSON (continuing):

The reality of the matter is that there has been an abject failure in this government's management of this whole project. The report that has been written by the committee, the tripartisan committee, is fair, balanced and not politically motivated. Having sat on committees and having been involved in committees with Ms Porter and with Ms Hunter, I know that they would not allow that sort of thing to go through. To cast aspersions on the motives of Mrs Dunne, Ms Hunter and Ms Porter is disgraceful. It is the act of a coward, Mr Hargreaves.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mr Hanson, I have to ask you to withdraw that. That is a little unparliamentary.

MR HANSON: I will withdraw it.

It is the act of someone who, as a minister, has lost control of his department, has lost control of his ability to respond objectively and is simply attacking a tripartisan committee as his only form of defence for what has been a dreadful report.

Mr Corbell: Deal with the substance of the response.

MR HANSON: I think that the—

Mr Coe: Yours was so good, Simon. Yours was just chockers with good content.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Members, order! Mr Hanson is quite capable of looking after himself.

MR HANSON: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. I will go through it in more detail, but the comments that describe the committee response as ignorant, politically motivated and failing in objectivity are the substance of the matter and go to the heart of why this minister has simply been unable to manage the portfolio. I can go through the committee findings and look at some of the findings which were damning. Quite reasonable assessments are made by the committee. The report states:

... when the Committee undertook a site visit, the AMC was clearly not ready for handover and it was apparent to the Committee Members that considerable work still needed to be done.

That did prove to be the case. The committee was entirely correct in that assessment that it made. That is indisputable. That was on 4 February; that was several months before the AMC was actually ready to be opened. So it was an accurate assessment of what had occurred. The report also made the following comment:

While the ACT's remand facilities have ... given rise to serious human rights concerns, these concerns were exacerbated during the period between the official opening of the AMC ... and the ... transfer of remandees ...

We know that that is the case. From my conversations with Mr Hargreaves at the time, we know that the delays at the AMC—because we had to have the overcrowding at the BRC because of the additional prisoners that we could not release to New South Wales, for example—exacerbated the human rights concerns and the overcrowding


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