Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 5908 ..


saddens me that there could not have been a tripartisan approach to a problem which will affect us all.

Let me tell you this. If I want to have confidence in an institution, it either has that confidence straight up or I am going to have a bit more confidence if I can see some forensic investigation into it with the right intent behind that investigation. If I see that there is a witch-hunt on or a quasi royal commission, I am not going to have any confidence in that institution at all. When we try to marshal the resources of people that go into that institution, to assist officers who have the interests of the kids at heart, we have to beg them to do it with the right amount of commitment for the outcome for those kids. We have got to be careful not to risk diminishing that confidence in people.

We have got to be very careful about the institution called Bimberi. It is a new institution; it is not Quamby. As I said, it is in a state of change. What we have to do here is to organise that attitudinal change, that cultural change, in a considered way—not take a shotgun approach, which is what a judicial inquiry will do. We need to facilitate that change, organise that change and allow that change to occur as quickly as we can—but not too violently and not too abruptly, because it will not work: I guarantee you now; it will not work. I had a lot of studies into the change in culture at officer level at the AMC, and I can see exactly the same thing happening now.

Let me tell you, members, that if we go down the track of having a quasi royal commission, it will help the issue not one jot—not one jot. And it will not help rescue and save one of those kids in there. I do not know how many people have had very close friends in there. I have. And I can see the change starting. It is changing. In Bimberi is not happening fast enough for me, but it is happening.

I just want to say this to members here: please support the way in which this minister is trying to do the thing and assist her. We should have a tripartisan approach to helping these kids, not an adversarial one—which is what I am seeing coming out of Mrs Dunne’s motion.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.13): I will admit that this issue is something that the Greens are very conflicted on. We absolutely take into account everything that Mrs Dunne has said, and there are significant concerns there. I know that Ms Hunter has listened to those concerns quite intently, and with concern. We do have some concerns. We do not want to see the young people and the families who are associated with Bimberi, the young people in Bimberi and their families, demonised through a public process—or the staff who are working there who are very good staff and are trying to do the right thing by young people and also by the institution of Bimberi. Again, our concerns are about the actual institution of Bimberi and what may happen in terms of this being brought out in a public process.

I am concerned that we have not heard from the minister yet today. We need to hear from the minister today about this issue. Concerns have come about through questions that were raised in question time yesterday. We do have some concerns with that and what came out of that process yesterday. We do need to hear from the minister today. The minister should get up and speak. I am concerned that she has not yet got up and spoken here in this place about these issues today. We want to hear from the minister—hear her say how we can guarantee that, if we did have an independent


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video