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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1664 ..


On 4 February 2009 when the Committee undertook a … visit, the AMC was clearly not ready for handover and it was apparent to the Committee Members that considerable work still needed to be done.

You remember that, Madam Deputy Speaker. You signed off on that. You were there on the day when you saw people on the roofs pulling out electrical cabling and reinstalling electrical cabling. You were there when we could not get through doors that did not work. You were there on the day when, we subsequently discovered, there was a catastrophic breakdown in the security system. You were there; you experienced it; you signed off on it—as did Ms Hunter.

There was a range of other recommendations and findings that I will come back to later in my speech. What we had from Mr Corbell was an absolutely splenetic attack upon the committee for making such findings. He said it was politically motivated.

Mr Hargreaves: It was wrong.

MRS DUNNE: It was not wrong that on 4 February there was a catastrophic breakdown in the security system. There was a catastrophic breakdown in the security system. It was not wrong that there were people on the roof trying to fix the cabling when the committee was being shown through the prison, when they were trying to show that everything was all right. That is not wrong. It is not wrong that the minister was badly briefed, that the minister did not understand what was going on.

I will go onto this, because we have seen that again in the case of the rooftop protest. Findings 11, 12 and 14 of the AMC inquiry by my committee point to the fact that the minister was badly briefed in relation to the opening of the AMC. We see the same thing happening in relation to the rooftop protests, where the best possible explanation is a breakdown in communications between the minister and Corrective Services about what was going on. That is the very best interpretation. It could have been that Mr Corbell just went out and made it up—did not actually ask for information—and then had to correct the record. The very best interpretation was that there was a breakdown in communication.

It is interesting that the Greens are now satisfied, because they have had a briefing, that it will not happen again. It has happened in the past. It was repeated in April. Why won’t it happen again? Ms Bresnan really does need to answer the question about what commitments were given to them that this will not happen again. This minister has a track record of not being briefed—of making it up as he goes along and shooting off his mouth without thinking. That is why we had the instance where he was sort of censured in this place, when grave concern was expressed about the prejudicial statements that he made.

Let us have a look at this record. He talks about a human rights compliant prison. For years before the opening of this human rights compliant prison, this minister told us that there would be a different culture in this prison. What does it say about the culture of a prison that we now know, by the minister’s own admission, in his own defence, that there was falsification of prison records relating to a death and that some


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