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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1644 ..


has caused many of the problems that prisoners and corrections staff are experiencing right now.

We have seen ongoing security defects in the security system. We have seen security breaches and safety breaches. There was the damning unanimous report of the JACS committee, the minister’s refusal to accept the findings and then his extraordinary attack on the committee members—his attack on Mrs Dunne, Ms Hunter and Ms Porter. There was a unanimous and apolitical report delivered, and he characterised it simply as “a sham inquiry to achieve a political end”. In saying that, he is saying that Ms Porter was deliberately writing a report and signing off on a report that was a political sham. If that is true, Mr Corbell, you have some serious problems sitting on the backbench behind you—or, probably more to the point, the reality was that the report was an accurate and correct reflection of your mismanagement.

We have seen the maladministration of medications in the AMC, resulting in methadone overdoses. We saw the loss of three RFID bracelets when prisoners walked out of the jail with the bracelets still attached. These are meant to detect where prisoners are, and we had three prisoners walk out with those bracelets still attached to them. There were breaches in internet policy. A prisoner on remand for child pornography offences was given access to the internet, and another was allowed to send illegal messages to the media. Jon Stanhope’s reaction at that point was to characterise this as a simple doodle sent by a prisoner. Some of you may have seen that on the news—this “simple doodle”. It was absolutely disgraceful. He then turned on the Canberra Times journalist who had reported this story, calling them “wilting violets”. I think that is absolutely remarkable, and it speaks volumes on how dismissive they are.

We have seen Mr Corbell and Mr Stanhope say: “Oh well, he was raped. Of course, prisoners get raped in jail.” That is the way they characterised it: “Who’d have thought that was a surprise?” I think it is disgraceful, if that is the attitude that they have.

Mr Stanhope: A point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Clerk, stop the clock, please.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, on a point of order on your ruling in relation to issues under investigation and subject to the sub judice rule, Mr Hanson has just alleged, as a matter of fact, that a prisoner was raped at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. That matter, I understand, is under investigation. I believe that for a member of this place, the shadow corrections spokesperson, to allege as a fact that a matter under investigation has in fact occurred offends all sense of propriety, fairness, natural justice and offends against the sub judice rule. He has stated as a fact something—

Mr Smyth: No, he hasn’t.

Mr Stanhope: He just did it. He said a rape has occurred at Alexander Maconochie Centre.


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