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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2103 Week 13 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 3907..


MR RATTENBURY: The increase in population that has taken place this year has put significant pressure on the management of the Alexander Maconochie Centre. In response to that—

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members! Stop the clock. The Chief Minister has started a ruction here.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you do not help matters. I ask you not to interject. I am having trouble hearing Mr Rattenbury. Mr Rattenbury is answering a question.

MR RATTENBURY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I was saying, the increase in population has put significant pressure on the AMC. The management has been forced to respond by making a number of changes, which I outlined in my ministerial statement last week. A precis of them would include changing the roster of movements through the centre, or escorts, to ensure the safety of prisoners, particularly those from different classifications. They are the sorts of changes that have needed to be made. But one of the key points has been that the staff have responded with considerable professionalism and taken on board the extra burdens that have been placed upon them.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR RATTENBURY: There was another interjection Mr Hanson just made that has escaped my mind, but I will come back to that.

MADAM SPEAKER: I am glad that it has escaped your mind because responding to it would be disorderly. A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: I think he is referring to an interjection from last week. He has been hanging on pretty tightly. Minister, why did the government open a jail with a capacity of 300 in 2009 when all advice, including Treasury advice, showed that 300 was far too small?

MR RATTENBURY: As Mr Hanson well knows, I was not privy to the discussions as to why that decision was taken, and I am not able to access them. What I can say is that, at the time the government took the decisions, there were, as is public knowledge and has been provided to Mr Hanson through freedom of information, a number of scenarios that were put together. They had a range of possible projections—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, please come to order.


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