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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 March 2011) . . Page.. 618 ..


That Ms Bresnan’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Doszpot

Mr Smyth

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (3.22): I thank members for their contributions, some more than others. If I reflect on Mr Stanhope’s speech, I think it is remarkable that he did not actually spend any of his time defending Simon Corbell. I do not know whether that was because he does not want to. If you read what Jack Waterford said in the paper today, clearly there is a bit of a rift there. Have a read of it in the opinion piece. Mr Barr, you are mentioned. Clearly there is a bit of a rift between some members of the Labor Party. I am not very tight with the Labor Party, but clearly there is a bit of a rift. Certainly, Mr Stanhope’s lack of defence of Simon Corbell in his speech would indicate that there is not a lot of love between those two. It was either that or he realised that it was indefensible. That may have been the other part of it.

The minister’s own defence was interesting—he chose to talk about an issue that was not actually in the motion. Clearly, there has been a flurry of drug testing occurring at the AMC since the Liberals have been inquiring into this issue. He talked about the fact that there is no advantage to opening a prison. Well, there was probably an advantage to opening the prison before the election rather than going out there publicly and saying, “Whoops, it’s not ready. It is over cost and it’s delayed.”

I think there was a clear advantage in having a media circus at the AMC. All the TV cameras were there and there were a lot of speeches. There was a smoking ceremony and the minister saying, “Look, we’ve delivered this jail.” He forgot that it was over budget, over time and under scope, but it played well for the TV cameras, far better than the reality, which was that it was not ready for a further six months.

The other big lie he told during his speech was that the issue about capacity was about bed capacity and that what he had been referring to for all these years was the bed capacity of AMC. I have reflected on this and I have gone back and had a look at where Simon Corbell talked about bed capacity. When I said, “You planned a prisoner population of 300 because that is how many beds you have got,” he said, “Indeed.” He did not say, “No, no, no, Mr Hanson, no, no. It is not the prisoner population I am talking about; it is just the beds.” When he made his speech to the Christians for an Ethical Society, he said it was built to accommodate up to 300 prisoners. He did not say it was built to accommodate up to 300 beds—no, up to 300 prisoners.


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