Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 November 2022) . . Page.. 3941 ..
MR GENTLEMAN: I am unsure whether the tool was used in that fashion. I will take that on notice and come back with it.
MR PARTON: Minister, why is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 21 times more likely to be incarcerated in the ACT than a non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander?
MR GENTLEMAN: It is a question for us all, I think, to see the over-representation in our justice system by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Each of us, in different portfolios, has worked to try and reduce that wherever we can. I am at the end, of course, of that system, having been Minister for Corrections for a couple of years. We are trying to do our best to ensure ways forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the AMC, and provide support for them whilst they are in the correctional facility. We have worked with different groups outside of government, too, to provide support for them, but it is a matter for us, as a community, I think, to work as best we can together to reduce that level of over-representation.
MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Justice Health. Minister, the Inspector of Correctional Services has been told by health and custodial staff they believe the health centre is no longer fit for purpose. It is overcapacity and besides a small office demountable, it has received no enhancements since being built. This under-resourcing of the centre has led to some detainees reporting it takes over eight weeks to see a doctor and some detainees have experienced long wait times to access anti-psychotic medication. The Inspector has also observed there appears to be “entrenched animosity between Justice Health, ACTCS and Winnunga.” Minister, an expansion of the health centre has been recommended by at least two committees in recent years. Each time your response has been vague. We now have it from the Inspector. What plans do you have to improve the health centre?
MS DAVIDSON: I thank Mrs Kikkert for the question. It is really important we have the Inspector of Correctional Services to be able to give us advice about where there may be improvements we can make to support better health care for people who are in the AMC. I am looking forward to discussing how we can do that with my cabinet colleagues over the coming months. It is also important to know the Justice Health strategy is currently being progressed as well. These recommendations from the Inspector of Correctional Services will be considered as we continue to work on the Justice Health strategy. While I cannot provide specific information about appointment wait times for individuals, I do recognise the AMC is a particularly difficult environment in which to try and deliver health services and being able to get in and out of the Hume Health Centre is part of that process. There will be some meetings to further discuss ways we can improve people’s access to the Hume Health Centre and other access to health services over coming weeks and I am looking forward to being able to progress some work in that space. I also note some renovations in mid-2022 increased Winnunga’s allocation of space at the Hume Health Centre. I thank Winnunga for their ongoing commitment to providing health care at the AMC alongside Justice Health services to make sure people are able to access continuity of care there.