Page 2139 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 3 August 2021

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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Minister for Corrections

Motion of no confidence

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.02), by leave: I move:

That this Assembly expresses no confidence in Mr Gentleman MLA as Minister for Corrections.

I am compelled to bring this motion before the Assembly today. The series of unfortunate events that has brought us to this point should astound anyone. I, too, would be stunned if I had not become desensitised to this government’s incompetent mismanagement of the prison in the short time that I have held this portfolio. In those nine months, we have seen a multitude of failures from this minister, across almost all aspects of the prison.

Let me summarise the serious issues that have led to this motion of no confidence in Mick Gentleman. Over the last nine months, we have seen short staffing in the prison cause excessive lock-ins and overtime hours. We have seen two riots as well as a detainee mistakenly released and at large for close to a week. There have been repeated delays in the rollout of an upgraded database, and a $20 million bail program that housed only 44 people. There have been unclear policies, the sluggish drafting of vitally important policies, a deferred reintegration centre, disproportionate numbers of strip searches, mass incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and recently an escape.

This motion joins another expression of no confidence. After the detainee escape, AMC staff held a vote of no confidence in a member of management. All officers on duty and roughly 30 officers who came in off shift raised their hands in favour. Clearly, I am not alone in believing that Minister Gentleman and this government are jeopardising the safety of our corrections officers through their careless management.

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