Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1649 ..
personnel with significant experience in the broad scope of operations corrections, including programs, including security, including health, including food and hygiene, including all the elements that you would expect in the context of the operation of a prison.
I have released draft terms of reference for public comment before the inquiry terms of reference are settled. Is this the action of a minister who is not interested in engaging in this debate and who has something to hide in this debate? Not at all. These are draft terms of reference. I have asked the independent reviewer to consult with the AMC reference group which represents the broad range of non-government organisations which are delivering services into the prison. I have asked him to consult with the human rights commissioner on those terms of reference. I have asked for him to consult with the Ombudsman on those terms of reference, and I have also asked the independent reviewer to brief the Auditor-General on the process that he has been asked to undertake. These are not the actions, I would put to you, Mr Speaker, of a minister who is unprepared to have scrutiny of this very important review process.
Once those draft terms of reference are concluded following that consultation process that the reviewer will undertake, he will commence his review. The review will be comprehensive. Anyone who has looked at the 2½ pages of the terms of reference that I have proposed would know that they are extremely comprehensive terms of reference. This review will enable us to properly identify what is working well in the operations of the AMC and where there are issues that need to be addressed.
I will respond to a couple of the other matters that Mr Hanson has raised in his motion. He has alleged that there have been security breaches at the prison. There has been no failure of security systems at the prison. If Mr Hanson believes that one of the things that I should hang for is the presence of contraband in a corrections facility, there would be no prisons minister anywhere in this country who would still have their job. It just shows the absurdity of the Liberal Party’s mission. Here is Mr Hanson saying, “Mr Corbell should hang because there might be drugs in the prison.” Well, what an absurd standard for the Liberal Party to set. It just shows their complete failure to engage in any sophisticated and considered way on this difficult and challenging area of policy and service delivery for this government. It just shows how absurd they are.
He has also made allegations about the SOTA scanning equipment and also the RFID technology that is in place at the prison. Both of these pieces of technology are over and above the basic levels of security that are required to maintain safe custody of prisoners in this facility. The SOTA and the RFID technologies are up and operating and continue to be rolled out. Their capacity is enhanced as we continue down the process of operating this facility.
I get regular reports on the discoveries of contraband in this facility. Not surprisingly, it goes up and it goes down. In some instances there is no contraband seized for a month. At other times there is. But what is quite clear is that we have a robust and a leading edge security system in place at this facility, one that is being watched closely by corrective services in other jurisdictions because it does give us an enhanced capacity that is not available in many other prisons around the country.