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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 8 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3386..


Mr Hanson: Not even the shadow minister?

MS BURCH: Not even the shadow minister. The shadow for youth and young people has no interest, it would seem. I also undertake to go through my records and seek advice from the department on the number of letters that have been sent to my office from any member of the opposition with regard to youth justice and, in particular, Bimberi. The director has advised me that formal correspondence was received on, I think, six matters relating to Bimberi from opposition members to the Minister for Children and Young People, including my predecessor, since May 2009. I have these letters here. One is from July 2009 from Mrs Dunne to Mr Barr asking for a copy of a draft paper to make comment on. There is a letter here from Alistair Coe in March 2009 asking for copies of the Bimberi handbook and other documentation. There is a letter also from Mr Coe in March 2009 on a matter regarding one of the residents.

In November 2010—so 18 months later—a co-signed letter, which I referred to in my answer yesterday, was received from Mr Coe and Mrs Dunne around the staffing matters at Bimberi. I also have a letter from Mrs Dunne dated 4 February that raised matters, and she copied that to the Attorney-General. That matter was dealt with. Then on 15 February, following my letter to Mr Coe, Ms Hunter and Mrs Dunne regarding a visit to Bimberi, Mrs Dunne provided a reply saying that she would not be accompanying me because she was concerned that such a visit may attract a media presence and that this would be inappropriate for the time. That is the only correspondence that I have from any member of the opposition in regard to Bimberi, and I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question.

ACT Policing—tasers

Statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services), by leave: On 27 October last year the Assembly passed a motion noting that the government will report to the ACT Assembly on the outcome of the ACT Policing review into the use of tasers, that any expansion in the use of tasers shall only occur on the grounds of improved public and/or police safety and be supported by evidence, and that the Minister for Police and Emergency Services will report that decision to the Legislative Assembly should such a decision be made.

Madam Assistant Speaker, today I am reporting to the Assembly in accordance with the motion. In accordance with a process agreed by me, the Chief Police Officer and the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, it has been determined that the use of tasers should be expanded by ACT Policing for policing in the territory. This expansion is occurring on the grounds of improved public and police safety and is supported by statistical operational evidence provided to me by ACT Policing.

I would like to note that the history of taser use by the Australian Federal Police dates back to 2004 when the AFP undertook an extensive assessment into the viability of the use of tasers, examining national and international practices in law enforcement.


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