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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 12 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3586..


Mr Barr: Seven out of 10.

MR HANSON: There you go: seven out of 10.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order!

MR HANSON: My apologies, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Settle down, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: In answers to questions concerning the capacity of the AMC as a basis for government planning, the government referred to the Treasury modelling provided in the report called Proposals for future ACT correctional facilities of 2003. In appendices of that report, the total sentenced prison population in June 2013 was expected to be 160. The planning basis for remand prisoners was 138. Minister, did the government mislead the Assembly in a question on notice on 8 December 2010 when Treasury figures were used to state that the forecast prison numbers in 2030 ranged from only 260 to 274, when correctly using Treasury figures would show the AMC would have a prison population of 298 in June 2013 and 315 by 2030?

MR RATTENBURY: To be honest, I am not sure if I followed all of those numbers that Mr Hanson cited. I will happily look at the Hansard and look closely at the specific details he has just asked me about. Clearly I was not the minister in 2010; I am not in a position to answer the question as to what the government said at that time.

I think I am set to make a ministerial statement this afternoon; I am happy to touch on some of that now. I have been quite open about the fact that the AMC is currently experiencing significant accommodation pressures. We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of detainees since January this year, in the order of 40 per cent. We most recently had 341 detainees, on 12 October, as the maximum population that has been in the AMC at any time since it opened. I will have a look at the question from Mr Hanson in more detail if he wishes and provide on notice any further details that I might be able to.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, perhaps a simpler one: why is it that the AMC is full after only three years of operation when the minister stated in 2007 that it would have capacity for 25 years?

MR RATTENBURY: The AMC does currently have a population of somewhere between 330 and 340. It fluctuates on a daily basis. The capacity of the prison is now 366. That capacity has been raised in the last few months in order to cope with the additional pressures. There are a range of drivers which are increasing the population and there are various views on what those drivers are. In order to ensure that we have a clearer understanding, I have called a ministerial round table—a series of them. The first one will take place this Friday, 25 October, to work with the key stakeholders and leaders in the justice community.


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