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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (27 October) . . Page.. 5146..


MS BURCH: As I understand it, if a property is damaged then it is the responsibility of Housing ACT to make the repairs to a standard at which the property should be held. If there is damage to any personal items that are owned by the tenant, I would hope that we would make good on that. Again, I can come back with some policy definition about that.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—drugs

MS PORTER: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you please advise the Assembly on the commitments made in the corrections health plan to review the drug and alcohol policies in the AMC?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. As members would be aware, the adult corrections health services plan 2008-12 gives a commitment that a full and comprehensive evaluation of proposed drug policies and services and their subsequent effect on prisoners and staff within the Alexander Maconochie Centre will be undertaken 18 months after commissioning. If, after this evaluation, further consideration of a trial needle exchange program is warranted, ACT Health will investigate the feasibility of introducing such a trial to the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

This evaluation is well underway at this time. The evaluation will be completed by the end of December, which is 18 months after the last ACT prisoners were repatriated from New South Wales in June 2009. The evaluation is a joint initiative of ACT Corrective Services and ACT Health, and the key sources of information for the evaluation are ACT Corrective Services and ACT Health's internal data from 1 June 2009 to 31 May 2010, the 2010 ACT inmate health survey, published data and an external component implemented by the Burnet Institute, involving interviews, observations and analysis of all the data collected for consideration within the context of the final evaluation report.

Alongside the gathering of this data is a broad evaluation advisory group, the EAG, which is also informing the evaluation. The EAG has met three times and has two more meetings scheduled ahead of the government receiving the final report in late December 2010. This group is made up of a range of organisations, including union representatives from the CPSU, the Australian Nursing Federation, Prisoners Aid, the Aboriginal Justice Centre, community-based drug treatment services, Corrective Services and ACT Health.

I had the pleasure today of meeting with John Ryan, who is the chief executive officer of Anex, and his colleague from the United States Dr Sarz Maxwell. As members may be aware, Anex released yesterday a couple of discussion papers, one on the use of naloxone by non-medical staff and one on the introduction of a needle and syringe program to jails in Australia.

It is enlightening to meet with various stakeholders across the community to receive their views on differing approaches to issues, in this case with regard to the management of illicit drug use in the territory, across Australia and, indeed, the world.


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