Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4363 ..
going into the Alexander Maconochie Centre is nowhere near as high as in the New South Wales corrections system—nowhere near it.
Mr Hanson: How do you know that? Where is your evidence for that?
MR HARGREAVES: And Mr Hanson says, “Where is your evidence?” Ms Bresnan sprung him, like a mouse in a trap. He has no evidence to back up any of the assertions that he made. I can tell you this much, Madam Assistant Speaker: I do not need to be able to quote you chapter and verse that someone is going to die of hepatitis.
Mr Hanson: Where is your evidence about the volume of drugs in New South Wales?
MR HARGREAVES: I do not need that kind of evidence. I know it, and I know where they get it from, and you know where they get it from as well. Madam Assistant Speaker, it is unacceptable for the politicians in this town to sit in their comfortable little chairs and watch people contract disease in the Alexander Maconochie Centre and die as a result. They die as a result. I defy Mr Hanson to show us otherwise—to stand up here and tell me and the rest of us how he is going to stop people from getting hepatitis in the AMC. How are you going to do it? At least this is an attempt to stop it.
I again applaud Ms Bresnan’s bringing forward of the discussion paper, because I think it is about time people out there in the community started talking about this a little bit more around the kitchen table so that they are better informed of the exercise, instead of listening to redneck political expedience.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (7.54), in reply: Firstly, in response, I would like to turn to the motion that is on the notice paper and that has been discussed today. It has been described as redneck and it has been said that somehow I and all the people affiliated with me are pigs for having done it. Let us just go through it and see where it is so redneck and what this government and the Greens are actually opposing.
The motion firstly asked the Assembly to note the harmful effects of illicit drug use. That is a well-established factor. Illicit drug use is harmful, certainly when it relates to criminal activity. And the evidence—I went through it when I spoke earlier—is that a significant number of our prison population do use drugs and it is related to their crimes.
The second thing I ask the Assembly to note is “that illicit drug use is a factor in many of the crimes committed by prisoners at the Alexander Maconochie Centre”. You know the statistics, and if you will just bear with me for one moment I will go to those statistics. I have here information from the Australian Institute of Criminology that 37 per cent of Australian detainees contributed some of their offending to drugs and 41 per cent of detainees in Australia are deemed to be dependent on drugs. That is from the Australian Institute of Criminology. The AIHW says that one in 10 prisoners are imprisoned for drug-related crimes. So that is what is established; it would be difficult to refute those comments.