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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 5963..


MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, are you aware of any Westminster parliamentary democracy in the Western world where a Speaker has a portfolio and regularly engages in political debate on the floor of the chamber?

MR SPEAKER: I am aware that the ACT Legislative Assembly has many unique characteristics which are not observed in other parliaments across the commonwealth.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, have you received any correspondence from any quarter of this Assembly drawing to your attention those matters raised today and calling on you to resign?

MR SPEAKER: Not that I can recall, Mr Hargreaves. As I indicated, it has been raised in annual reports hearings at least for the last two years and of course it has been raised in this chamber on occasions but I have not received any formal correspondence that I can recall.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—Solaris Therapeutic Community

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, can you describe the benefits and performance of the Solaris Therapeutic Community for detainees in the AMC?

DR BOURKE: I thank Ms Porter for her question, a question that I am particularly pleased to receive following a very good letter in the Canberra Times last week praising the Solaris Therapeutic Community. A therapeutic community is a treatment facility in which community members are engaged as the primary therapeutic tool for promoting personal change through the use of self-help and mutual strategies. Residents and staff participate in the management and operation of the therapeutic community and contribute to a psychologically and physically safe learning environment where change and growth can occur.

The Solaris Therapeutic Community program has been delivered through a partnership with Karralika Programs Inc and ACT Corrective Services since its commencement in July 2009. The AMC Solaris Therapeutic Community aims to provide specific treatment methods, including individual and group counselling, alcohol and other drug education, relapse prevention and cognitive skill building activities designed to address criminogenic risk factors and improved health outcomes.

Its specific objectives include to create a psychologically and physically safe therapeutic environment, to reduce the incidence of recidivism related to substance misuse through the provision of targeted interventions, to deliver a comprehensive range of programs including psycho-educational and therapeutic interventions and culturally appropriate support underpinned by evidence-based practice, to provide an


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