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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1663 ..


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.19): Mr Hargreaves is going to defend the indefensible. I would like to see that. I am looking forward to it.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this is an important matter here today. Mr Seselja is absolutely correct. When before have we seen in this place such a litany of failure and maladministration as we see here today, that brings Mr Hanson here today calling on this Assembly to censure a clearly incompetent minister?

What was the defence? The minister stood up and spoke for close to four minutes, not about his record but about the records of previous Liberal governments. Nine years down the track, the only thing he could do was look backwards. He wanted to look a long way back, because he did not want to look in the near past to what happened last week, last month or in the last year, 18 months or two years under his poor administration.

The only highlights that we have seen in the administration of prisons in this territory were under the supervision of Mr Hargreaves, who, as Mr Hanson rightly said, received a hospital pass. We had a prison that was not open, and clearly was not ready to be opened; Mr Hargreaves, to his credit, pulled out all the stops. He put aside the nonsense and he did what he could to get the prison open. He did have a sow’s ear to work with. He did a commendable job of trying to convert that into a silk purse, but there are still many failures.

We have to remember that Mr Corbell said that running a prison was a very complex thing. It is a complex thing. What we have seen here today with this litany of failures is that the complexity of it is such that Simon Corbell is not up to the job. He should be censured. He said about the Alexander Maconochie Centre that it had more facilities than most other prisons. It does not have a gym. It does not have a chapel or quiet reflective place. It has been substantially downsized. It does, to Mr Corbell’s credit, have some really funky artwork. And it has very good access to the roof. They are the sorts of facilities that Mr Corbell thinks are important. Good roof access? Sunbathing is very good, in April very important. But it does not have a gym and there are many programs which are not being implemented because of the downsizing of the prison and because of the staffing structures in the prison.

What does that lead to? It leads to bored prisoners; it leads to malcontented prisoners; it leads to instances of violence in the prison; it leads to drug abuse in the prison; it leads to low morale amongst prison staff. And what do we have? We have this litany of failures—this litany of failures which is Simon Corbell’s litany. There was a small interregnum from Mr Hargreaves when he tried to get it back on track.

Mr Hanson: It was colourful.

MRS DUNNE: It was colourful. But what we have is a litany of failures by Mr Corbell. We have to go back to the inquiry into the delay in the commencement of operation of the Alexander Maconochie Centre and see what some of the findings were. The findings were along the lines that the AMC, months after it was officially opened, was not ready for occupation. Finding 2 says:


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