Page 3940 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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Mr Parton: I think it’s Paterson. I think that’s Michael, the other one.

MS BERRY: Paterson.

MADAM SPEAKER: No need, Mr Parton.

Mr Parton: Just trying to correct the record.

MS BERRY: I did say Paterson, didn’t I? Sorry.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Berry, just continue.

MS BERRY: This is all part of the Best Start for Canberra’s Children: the First 1,000 Days Strategy that Minister Stephen-Smith and I launched earlier this month. Together, we worked with the community sector, parents, carers and children to understand how to give children the best start in life. The strategy sets out a plan to improve the first 1,000 days of every child, which we know are so important for the rest of their lives. The strategy will be delivered alongside Set up for Success, the ACT’s early childhood strategy, as part of the government’s ambitious child and family reform agenda.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—independent review

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. It has long been suspected by Aboriginal leaders that there is systemic racism in the ACT justice system, leading to over-representation. In his 2019 review, the inspector recommended that the government contract an independent Indigenous expert to review the security rating system at the prison to ensure that it is free of any cultural bias. The government agreed, and claimed that this was done in August of this year. This independent review was not actually done.

Furthermore, in their research, the government referenced a Canadian tool that was ruled invalid and unreliable by the Canadian Supreme Court, which said that it was a clear danger to continue using it. Minister, why did the government claim to have engaged an independent reviewer when this, in fact, had not happened?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Kikkert for the question. I will respond, firstly, to the Healthy Prison Review from the inspector, and advise that we feel that it is a very important review. Of course, these reviews help to provide some scrutiny and accountability of the justice system. Of course, we will be responding formally to that review over time, and we will look at the claims and recommendations made in that review. With respect to the detail of the question from Mrs Kikkert, I will have to take that on notice.

MRS KIKKERT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, how exactly was this invalid tool that was used by Canadian corrections, involved in your supposed completion of this recommendation?

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