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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 March 2011) . . Page.. 619 ..


A media release from the minister says that the prison has a capacity for 190 sentenced prisoners and 110 remandees—not 190 sentenced beds; it said “prisoners”. A media release on 11 September said it can house up to 300 inmates—not up to 300 beds. So he has lied again. He has come into this place and said, “No, no, no, no. I didn’t mislead you, because I was telling you about the beds. It was about the bed capacity.” Not true. And on and on. The AMC will have a capacity for 300 detainees—not a capacity for 300 beds. Even on the website at www.cs.act.gov.au—no doubt that will be changed by the end of play today—it says that presently the capacity of the AMC is 300. I recommend that that be changed to, “Presently the AMC has 300 beds,” or, “Presently the capacity of the AMC is about 245.” Either of those would be correct statements. But, according to the minister and his logic, that is misleading.

What we have established through the course of this motion today is three things: firstly, that this minister is grossly incompetent. If you listen to the litany of errors that has occurred—I have got more of them that I will run through if I get time—and if you listened to what Mrs Dunne and Mr Smyth said in their speeches, it is quite clear that this minister is not competent. By his own admission, yesterday he said that he only checked on what was going on after the opposition prompted him to, and the fact that he called this a fundamental breakdown under his leadership goes to that point.

The second issue that we have established is that of misleads and deceptions and cover-ups. I do not think there is any doubt that this minister misled, and not just about the drugs. We have established, in part, that that was more of a competence issue. But certainly there was a mislead about the capacity. There is no doubt that this is a deliberate contrivance to cover up the fact that when they went from 374 beds to 300—which was another broken promise, I might add—Simon Corbell said, “This is good; don’t worry; we’ve reduced the size of it but she’s right for 25 years,” and that was not true.

At the same time, he had figures that said that this prison was going to be full within a year. In fact, there was going to be only one spare bed—one prisoner over on the day he opened it, by his own figures. No wonder he wanted to cause confusion. No wonder he wanted to step away from his figure of 300. That figure was only there to make a pretence that this prison would be open for 25 years when, quite clearly, it was not going to be.

The third issue is his refusal to accept responsibility. We have seen throughout the course of this a minister and a Chief Minister very quick to blame the department. “It’s the department’s fault. The department did this wrong. The department did that wrong.” There is no standing up here and admitting that this has been a problem for two years. There is no standing up and saying, “Look, I have made mistakes myself as the minister.” Not at all. There is no acceptance of responsibility for the early opening.

In fact, he attacked the JACS committee when they reported that he had done things wrong, that he had made mistakes and that he had made errors. No admission. He actually turned on the committee, that included one of his own members, and said it was a politically motivated committee. So there was a committee of this Assembly with a Greens member, a Liberal member and a Labor member all finding that he had


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