Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 5950 ..
Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, under standing order 118(b), the minister—
Mr Stanhope: You’re trying to cover up here, are you, Brendan? This is a cover-up.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Stanhope!
Mr Smyth: is not allowed to debate the subject. The question was: why are you retrofitting the AMC with bunks? You should—
Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, the substance of the question was around the capacity and it was about statements being made in and around the committee hearings. That has widened the discussion around the capacity and statements have been made in this place around that particular subject.
MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, minister, I do not think it is necessary to go through press releases from previous occasions. I think if you can stick to the substance of the question that would be helpful.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the government, of course, ruled out utilising spare capacity at the AMC with New South Wales prisoners. This was in great contrast to the position put by the Liberal Party at the time.
Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. He cannot ignore your direction and go back to that which I raised the point about. He cannot ignore you. If he does, you have no authority. You must ask him to come to the substance of the question.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order on this occasion. I did invite the minister to steer away from the press release—
Mr Smyth: And he ignored you.
MR SPEAKER: No. Mr Smyth!
Mr Hanson: He’s holding it in his hand.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you are on a warning already. Minister, let us just stick to answering the question, thank you.
MR CORBELL: Indeed, Mr Speaker, and I am endeavouring to do so because these are questions about capacity and decisions around how we manage capacity at the AMC. The government believes that it would be inappropriate to house anyone other than ACT prisoners and prisoners accepted as part of interstate transfers.
Mr Hanson: Mr Speaker, on a point of order, can you stop the clocks, please?
MR SPEAKER: Order! Sit down, minister.
Mr Hanson: The question was not about whether or not we are housing New South Wales prisoners. On a point of relevance, the question was directly about why, in one instance, he said that this prison had capacity under its current bed arrangements for