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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 3 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 906..


Question resolved in the affirmative.

Leave of absence

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.56): I move:

That leave of absence be granted to Ms Porter for this sitting fortnight for medical reasons.

Ms Porter is still recovering from a medical procedure.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—assault

Paper and statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (10.56), by leave: I wish, as I stand, to make a statement in relation to the findings of the two reviews commissioned by my department into a critical incident that occurred at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre on 5 February 2011 when two young people broke out of their cabins and assaulted an MSS officer. I want to stress that I and the department take the incident that occurred at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre very seriously, which is why the department urgently commissioned these two reviews and I am pleased that they were delivered and conducted thoroughly.

The reviews were conducted by two experienced external consultants, Terry Keating and Charles Thomas, both of whom have extensive and relevant experience and expertise in juvenile justice custodial settings and I would like to place on record my thanks to them for their work in these reviews. Mr Keating was tasked with investigating the operational circumstances surrounding the incident. Mr Thomas was contracted to review the security systems and the infrastructure aspects of the incident.

In considering the reviews and responses to the serious incident that occurred at Bimberi on 5 February, it is important to remember that custodial facilities are extremely complex environments to manage. The Bimberi youth justice facility houses young people who exhibit troubling and difficult behaviours and, for many of them, that is the reason why they find themselves in Bimberi. The managers and staff at Bimberi have complex risks to manage and, in the main, they do a very difficult job well.

The two reviews have, however, found a number of factors contributed to the incident. Key among them was a failure by some staff on duty that night to follow policies and procedures. Also highlighted was the fact that inadequate training was provided to the


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