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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 4 Hansard (5 April) . . Page.. 1372..


MindMatters, one of 16 youth suicide prevention programs. He put into perspective the immense need for the support that these chaplains provide.

Once again I pay tribute to the work done by SU ACT in facilitating the placement of chaplains for so many years across the territory.

Blood-borne viruses

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.35): I rise in the adjournment this evening to focus a little on the issue of preventing the spread of blood-borne viruses in corrections environments, and of course this has been the matter of much discussion in the Assembly today, and indeed in the community over the last few weeks.

My attention was drawn to the very strident response of Mr Hanson in question time today when, in response to a question asked by Ms Bresnan about the position of the New South Wales Liberal Party on the possible provision of a needle and syringe exchange program in New South Wales correctional facilities, he stridently yelled out, "It's not true, it's not true,"suggesting that the New South Wales Liberals did not support considering a needle exchange program in New South Wales correctional facilities.

So my attention was drawn to what the Liberal Party have actually said on this issue in New South Wales, and I was fortunate to be able to access the Corrections Coalition website who, as these things occur during election campaigns, made a request of all political parties to put forward their position on the issue of needle exchange, amongst a broad range of other corrections issues, in the lead-up to the New South Wales election.

They have the Liberal Party response online. It is from Mr Mark Neeham, the campaign director of the Liberal Party of New South Wales, where he outlines what the Liberal Party's plans and policies are in relation to corrections, and at section 9, justice health, it was very interesting to read that the New South Wales Liberals say, "We will consider supporting the trial of a needle and syringe program in appropriate correctional facilities with independent evaluation of the outcomes of any such trials."Of course, this position stands in marked contrast to the position of those opposite. Those opposite are not even prepared to contemplate the provision of a trial, which is where this government is currently at.

We heard in the matter of public importance how good it would be to be able to cooperate with all of those newly elected coalition members in New South Wales. We heard Mr Seselja and Mr Coe and others wax lyrical about the importance of the government doing that. Well, I am sure that on this issue we do indeed look forward to seeing the position of the New South Wales Liberal government on this matter, because they at least are prepared to consider the prospect of a trial of a needle and syringe program in correctional facilities, in New South Wales jails.


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