Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1681 ..
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2 pm.
Questions without notice
Alexander Maconochie Centre—lockdowns
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Attorney-General. On 12 April you told the media that the longest lockdown at the Alexander Maconochie Centre was five hours. Your office later corrected the record, stating that there had been two occasions where prisoners had been locked down for 20 hours. Why did you provide misleading information to the media about this matter?
MR CORBELL: I provided that advice based on the advice I had received from my department. My department subsequently corrected the advice they had provided to me and I subsequently advised the media accordingly.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?
MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. How often have prisoners been locked down over the past year?
MR CORBELL: I will take the question on notice, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hanson?
MR HANSON: Minister, how is it that regular lockdowns at the AMC are consistent with a human rights compliant facility?
MR CORBELL: The exercise of lockdowns is a standard procedure to maintain safe custody in all correctional facilities across the country. The way that is conducted here in the ACT does differ from other correctional facilities interstate, and it differs in one very important and I believe appropriate respect. That is that in other jurisdictions the lockdown is regularly applied across all categories of prisoner in all of the facilities within the existing prison at the same time.
In the ACT, we endeavour, where it is necessary for operational reasons to lock prisoners in cells for longer than the regular period, for that to be on a rolling basis. So it does not apply uniformly across the prison but instead applies at different times in different parts of the prison. That allows prisoners to still achieve a reasonable period of time out of the cells—obviously not as long a period as we would prefer, but it does allow some reasonable period of time out of cells. That is in stark contrast to the practice in most prisons in New South Wales.
MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training, and it concerns the NAPLAN testing. Minister, the NAPLAN testing is scheduled for next