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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 5687..


year resulting in serious injury to Bimberi staff. Minister, can you advise the Assembly what action has been taken since these incidents by your department to ensure the ongoing safety of Bimberi staff and have any charges or disciplinary action been taken against the detainees who were involved in these incidents?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. Assaults and incidents do occur at Bimberi. It is a detention centre and, unfortunately, it is some part of the reality of what happens there. All incidences of assault are treated very seriously and, depending on the level of assault—perhaps it is all of them; perhaps it is those that reach a certain part—they are certainly referred to the AFP.

As to the question of how many charges have been laid and what is the outcome of those, I will take it on notice and come back. I do not have that information on hand. But rest assured that staff security and staff safety are a priority and incidents like these are not taken lightly. Every incident, regardless of what it is, is reviewed and considered and, where appropriate, referred to the Federal Police.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Yes, a supplementary. Minister, you stated in this place on 17 August:

We take any incident that exposes young people and those that work at Bimberi to risk quite seriously, so every incident, regardless of what it is, is reported and is reviewed by management ...

Given that, has a broader review into these incidents been undertaken and what was the outcome?

MS BURCH: Other than a review of individual incidences, if there is a broader review of circumstances, I will take that on notice. I know operations more broadly at Bimberi are in many ways under constant review, but that particular question I will take on notice, Mr Hanson, and bring an answer back.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, there have been a number of instances of assault. Some of those have been reported in the paper. Advice that has come to the Canberra Liberals indicates that on 5 September a female inmate kicked a staff member in the chest. In another instance a female staff member was punched in the head. In another instance serious damage was done to a female member when she was punched in the face. A staff member was hit with a fire extinguisher and sprayed with the contents. A staff member was assaulted and dragged around the unit by her hair. A staff member was hit by a broom. In another instance a staff member was king-hit. That was dealt with during estimates this year. Chairs have been thrown at staff. There was the assault of a staff member on the recreation ground when he was left alone. This was reported in the paper. There have been spitting incidents—


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