Page 1603 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 2 June 2021

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MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Jones for the supplementary question. I am very happy to meet with them. We consider requests for meetings pretty much weekly in my office and go through all of the requests that have been made for meetings. I do not recall discussing a meeting request recently from OT Australia, but I am very happy to meet with all stakeholders across the health system and very keen to understand what we can do to ensure that we are getting a really strong supply of graduates here in the ACT.

We know that we have shortages across the allied health system and we do have to grow our own. And we are absolutely committed to our partnerships with both the University of Canberra and ANU but also with the Australian Catholic University in doing that.

ACT Corrective Services—appointments

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for corrections. In March this year the former Commissioner of ACT corrective services, Jon Peach, was appointed to the specially created role of Executive Manager of Security and Emergency Management, a position that pays $327,000 a year. Coincidentally, a short time earlier, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate received a report that was very critical of Mr Peach’s emergency management response during a riot at the AMC saying at page 27:

… the office of the Inspector of Correctional Services is not persuaded that the value added by the commissioner’s presence at the AMC outweighed the confusion it caused amongst AMC staff …

I note, this was during a riot. Minister, how is it appropriate to appoint a person whose performance caused confusion during a riot to an executive management role?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Cain for the question. I support decisions made by Justice and Community Safety in the way that they appoint our staff to different positions across the agency. Of course they look at the skills and opportunities that are provided by those individuals to best fit them for tasks that really assist the ACT community. Again, I support their decisions.

MR CAIN: Minister, how can Canberrans trust the government that appoints a person to a specialist security role who could not deliver standard security management in a prison during a riot?

MR GENTLEMAN: I am not sure if that is the position that the corrections inspector put in his report and recommendations. I think Mr Cain is stretching the explanation a little bit there. But, as I said, of course our Justice and Community Safety Directorate manage our staff skills and put them in the best place as possible.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what improvements to corrections officers’ working conditions did Mr Peach implement that qualified him for this new executive role?

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