Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4349 ..
occurring then Simon Corbell cannot put his hand on his heart, amongst other measures, and say, “We are doing everything that we can to eradicate drugs in our jail.”
The worth of these programs is quite clear. In the UK they have got programs. They test 10 per cent of people monthly. That has halved the number of people taking drugs in their jails. I am happy to provide the Home Office report for you, Mr Stanhope, if you are interested. In New South Wales, they test five per cent of their prisoner population every month, amongst a range of other drug testing procedures.
What is clear, and what we know, is that this government has mismanaged the corrections portfolio. We now have drugs that are readily available in the ACT jail. The government’s approach and, it seems, the Greens’ approach—certainly it is the indication from government—is to introduce an NSP. We in the Liberal Party want to have a focus on rehabilitation, keeping drug use to a minimum and keeping drugs out of jail.
The minister has failed to complete his job. What I want to do, and what this motion is about today, is call on him to outline all the measures he is taking so that we can review the matter and see what this government is doing.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (5.38): In response to this motion regarding illicit drug use from the Liberal Party, I wish to outline that the government is committed to ensuring that prohibited items stay out of the Alexander Maconochie Centre and that prisoners have opportunities to rehabilitate and successfully reintegrate into the community. The minister indicated in question time yesterday that he would detail steps that are taken at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. Unfortunately, the minister is unable to be here at the moment and I am fulfilling that commitment by the minister on his behalf.
The Alexander Maconochie Centre is, as far as I am concerned, a great achievement of this government, of this city and of this community. It is a modern facility. It is underpinned in its development by human rights principles and the Human Rights Act and it is characterised by a range of programs offered to prisoners. It is a unique prison.
The introduction of contraband, in particular drug paraphernalia, into a prison environment is not unique to the ACT. Contraband had been entering facilities worldwide a long time before the AMC was ever constructed. The AMC has a number of systems in place to deter and detect the introduction of contraband. Indeed, we have leading edge systems in place—to name a few: the K-9 unit, ion scanning, metal detectors, RFID and the SOTER X-ray machines are all measures operating at the AMC. I am satisfied—in fact, I have no doubt—that the AMC has appropriate security measures in place to limit the introduction of contraband. However, we will not stop looking for ways to improve in that regard.