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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (11 August) . .

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You asked a further question regarding how fires occur at the AMC given that lighters, accelerants and matches are all classified as contraband and prohibited items. While I offered a response during the sitting, I also gave a commitment to provide further information about how fires are started.

I can confirm my statement that detainees have been very creative in creating sources of flame, including by stripping of electrical wires or placing tin foil connected to live wires into kettles. Additionally, in spite of efforts by Custodial Officers to prevent their entry, contraband cigarette lighters have been regularly found within the AMC. Fires at the AMC have been started by both cigarette lighters and detainee created sources of flame.

Importantly in relation to cigarette lighters, on 2 June 2016 a General Manager's Instruction (GMI) was issued to allow detainees to possess cigarette lighters and thus better manage the risk of ignition sources in the AMC.

As you would be aware, detainees can buy and use tobacco throughout the AMC, and have access to limited ignition points in external areas to light cigarettes. However, efforts by detainees to create lasting sources of flames from flammable materials resulted in an increased fire risk, which is better managed by allowing cigarette lighters within the centre. This change also supports the management of contraband policy and procedures in a more effective way as Custodial Officers can now concentrate efforts on other prohibited items that present a greater threat to the security and good order of the AMC. Such items include illicit drugs and paraphernalia, weapons, and mobile phones. Undue pressure placed by detainees on visitors to attempt to introduce lighters as contraband will also be eliminated. It also reduces the need for detainees to try and create uncontrolled sources of flame.

The risk of fire at the AMC is managed by the vigilant supervision of detainees. Since the GMI was issued there has not been a fire lit at the AMC.

Government—land development policies

Mr Barr (in reply to a supplementary question by Mr Coe on Tuesday, 2 August 2016): The Government has acquired two businesses in West Basin - Mr Spokes Bike Hire and Lake Burley Griffin Boat Hire. These businesses were acquired by the Land Development Agency in accordance with its functions under the Planning and Development Act 2007.


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