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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4353 ..


cannot be by way of the use of the draconian measures that we would need to use to prevent interactions between prisoners and their families and interfere unduly with their human rights. The consequences of seeking a total eradication are so draconian and so against the interests of prisoners’ rehabilitation that we are not prepared to contemplate their use.

You have to ask the opposition: what purpose does this motion today have? The answer is quite clearly none. It takes complex social, health and personal issues of addiction that mar the lives of individuals and turns those into simplistic statements that hide the facts that face prisoners, prison workers, prison authorities, governments and, ultimately, the community. The motion is a denial of reality. It is a denial of the facts. Motions such as this, and the language that the shadow minister uses, have the effect simply of brushing over the complexity. Using the word “rehabilitation”, as Mr Hanson does, does not make the motion compelling or believable.

The government is not hoodwinked into thinking—and nor will anybody else be—that Mr Hanson or the ACT Liberals care at all about the rehabilitation of drug users or their health. If you did, you could not possibly be supporting the sorts of attitudes that you parroted today and have parroted in recent days.

I should add that the motion does not provide any comfort to those who work in the prison environment. They know what the problems are. Stating them in this way does not change the complexity of the problems, even if the opposition thinks it is that simple. Prison workers themselves are rightly concerned by the issues the matter of contraband raises in the prison. The sudden conversion of the opposition to championing the rights of workers does not convince me and will not convince anybody else that the interests of the worker are at the forefront of the opposition’s thinking. Certainly, there is no track record in the Liberal Party of concern for workers. The ACT Liberals do not identify prisoners—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: They do not. This is at the heart of the Liberal Party’s position and philosophy on this. The Liberal Party simply do not identify prisoners or drug addicts as people worthy of concern, humane treatment or the sorts of considerations which everybody has a right to. That is what is at the heart of this motion. Today Mr Hanson stands here, walks away from and dismisses a commitment to human rights across our community, including in our prison.

That is what this is about. It is the same as the nonsense we have heard from him in recent days in relation to truancy. It is a convenient opportunity to stand up again and wave the flag, as they have always waved it, in relation to human rights when they opposed the Human Rights Act. They have continued to oppose human rights. They do it here again because they see drug addicts and prisoners as lesser human beings. This motion does not move this issue forward at all. It does not seek to find solutions. There is no effort to solution in this at all. It is not constructive and it is not insightful. It should not be supported.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.53): What we just heard from the Chief Minister was prepping the ground—we have seen it in the media—to


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