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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5828 ..


We will focus on the learning opportunities for the young people out there. We will focus on the safety, support and supervision for the workers there. And we will continue to focus on Bimberi being a restorative environment for the young residents there.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Before asking my supplementary, Mr Speaker, I notice that the minister did not answer the previous question. Minister, did you at any time indicate that you had no idea what was going on at Bimberi?

MS BURCH: I have regular briefings about what goes on in Bimberi. Part of my effort of going out there was to hear it firsthand. As anyone would know, if I am to embark on a review of Bimberi, which I have done, I felt it was important to listen to the staff, the teachers and the young residents there so I can better be informed about the scope of the project and the review that will be happening there.

MR COE: Supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, did you at any time cover your ears and say, “La, la, la, la”?

MS BURCH: No.

MR COE: Supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, during those meetings did you make at least one reference to Bimberi detainees as “little buggers” and use extended phrases such as “naughty little buggers” and “silly little buggers”?

MS BURCH: Clearly, you listen to afternoon radio. But, as I say again, those conversations were confidential and I am not going to breach any comment from any of the workers there. I have said that I went out there to talk to the workers to be better informed in the review process. It is timely that Bimberi is undertaking a review. Two years it has been operating. We now have a better sense of the number of residents; it has moved from 12 to over 20 on a regular basis.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe!

MS BURCH: That has impact on staff numbers, on programming, and so that is what we will do. I am very proud that the way we will approach this review is by having


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