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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (10 March) . .

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You only need to look. The UFU is not happy. The state emergency services members are not happy. Members of the RFS are not happy with the appointment of the new acting head. It does not leave much to the imagination. I know from talking to ambulance officers this morning that they are still bitterly unhappy about the farce that is the strategic reform agenda.

The minister reads these documents really well. I wonder if he actually reads or understands them before he stands up and reads them. "Achieving cultural change is always difficult." Yes, it is. But as he said, the job is "substantially done". They are his words—"substantially done". You say it is difficult and it is going to take time but it is substantially being addressed or has been completed.

Members should have no confidence in this update. Members should have no confidence in this minister. Members should have no confidence in the strategic reform agenda. The community—as always, as I always will be—will be extremely grateful for the work of the paramedics. But the paramedics and the members of the ACT Ambulance Service, and indeed all the emergency services, deserve much better than what they are getting from this government.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Alexander Maconochie Centre

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Corrections, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Road Safety) (10.34): I thank the Assembly at this time today as I provide an update to you on the significant steps the government has taken to address overcrowding issues at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. I will also provide information on the continuing detainee population pressures being experienced in our prison and what we as a government are doing to address the concerning and ongoing increase in detainee numbers in the ACT.

In the world of corrections, there is typically little in the way of good news that gets reported in the Assembly or, indeed, the media. However, today I am pleased to be able to deliver good news to the Assembly. Across the 2014-15 and 2015-16 budgets, the government provided $54 million in capital funding to build new accommodation facilities at the AMC. This $54 million capital expenditure was for the construction of a new 30-cell special care centre and a new 56-cell flexible accommodation unit within the existing AMC. It was a response to significant increases in detainee numbers.

These facilities were to provide an additional 142 operational beds which would see the AMC's total beds increase from 370 to 512. I am very pleased to say that both the new accommodation unit and the special care centre are now complete. We began accommodating detainees in the special care centre in September 2015 and in the accommodation unit in February 2016.


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