Page 163 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022
MR BARR: I understand that the detailed technical work necessary to re-tool the app is still ongoing. The Chief Health Officer’s view was that it was appropriate to make the changes around reducing the number of check-in venues and not wait for that technical work to occur.
MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, the recently released Report on Government Services shows that the ACT has, in the reporting period, spent significantly less on the ACT’s SES organisation—in fact, the lowest in 10 years. Minister, how has this reduced spending impacted on service delivery, especially during the recent storms?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. I can say that the SES have been operating incredibly effectively, particularly over recent weeks, with the storms in the ACT. In regard to funding, we look at the operation of the SES in surges. They put requests to us for infrastructure—vehicles and those sorts of things—in a time line. Vehicles are leased in a time line as well. When those leases are completed, new leases begin and there can be fluctuations in the expenditure for the SES. We continue to support them. We have increased funding for ESA, and some of that funding goes to support the SES, as well. As I said, I congratulate the work of the SES over recent weeks. They did an amazing job, with the assistance of all of the ESA structure, to support Canberrans during that storm season and will do so in the continuing season.
MR HANSON: Minister, is there anything specifically that has caused you to reduce the long-term funding—particularly, the reduction of $2.3 million to $1.5 million in the last year? Is there anything specific that you have cut out of the SES?
MR GENTLEMAN: No.
MR PARTON: Minister, can you explain why you have chosen to spend less on the SES in this period than in the last 10 years?
MR GENTLEMAN: As I mentioned in answer to the first question, it fluctuates in response to need and requests from the service. We continue to support them as they make requests for those needs.
Alexander Maconochie Centre—transitional release centre
MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, the transitional release centre at the Alexander Maconochie Centre is an important part of government strategy to build communities, not prisons, in order to reduce recidivism. Can you please provide an update on the transitional release centre and how it is being utilised at the moment?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Braddock for the question. The TRC has been chronically under-utilised for some years. This was evident when I took over the portfolio. I had a chat to Mr Braddock, through my office, and explained that this is