Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 250 ..

the various parties: the client, which in this case I take to be the government, the contractors and the subcontractors. And the report is particularly critical of the fragmented manner in which the project was managed, from the design stage all the way through to the construction and the commissioning stages.

The committee found that the management model used was confusing and that the lines of communication and control were unclear. There is also a finding that when the prison received prisoners there was no uninterrupted power supply for the building management system. I would have thought that you would have made sure that the prison had such a power supply. The report also tells us there are defects remaining in the security systems. Specifically this refers to defect 2.6, and we have spoken about that in detail in here previously, and that there was only one factory acceptance test conducted.

We also find out from the report that the territory is out of pocket $3.5 million. The minister may advise us of where that legal case is at. But as a result of that mismanagement, we now have a situation where we are spending in the territory $504 a day for each prisoner. The Chief Minister, prior to the prison being opened, guaranteed the people of Canberra—he said publicly—that the prison would cost us no more. In fact, he said it would probably be cheaper. How is it that we are spending nearly twice as much per prisoner than we did when we sent the prisoners to New South Wales?

I have outlined a solution to this problem, which is one that I have received substantial feedback on from many pensioners, many people in the community who are struggling to meet their daily living costs, and who find out that $504 a day is the money that is being spent on prisoners. We all want to make sure that we have a prison that rehabilitates offenders. But the $504 a day, when we were told that it would cost us no more—it has doubled in price in such a short time—is unacceptable. And the community is rightly outraged.

I have proposed a solution and I have discussed this previously. If we were to have a conversation with New South Wales to consider New South Wales bringing prisoners here, if we were to charge them a similar amount, this could make for a financial windfall for the government that could be used. It could be used for diversionary programs. It could be rolled into rehabilitation programs. It could be used to prevent people going to jail in the first place.

More importantly, if the jail is what it is cracked up to be and it is actually rehabilitating prisoners, why are we not getting people, particularly from our local region, Queanbeyan and other areas, in there so that we can do the right thing by them, get them close to their families and rehabilitate them? It is a win-win situation that the minister is refusing to consider. I am very disappointed.

I will turn now to the recent concerns we have had with internet policy. I am very disappointed that the minister has just brushed this off, as had the Chief Minister. These are serious issues. These are issues that we cannot simply brush off, as the Chief Minister says, as a doodle. They are breaches of policy and they are part of the ongoing failure of this government.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video