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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 March 2011) . . Page.. 620 ..


made mistakes. But no, Simon Corbell did not accept responsibility. We have seen that through the long list of problems with this jail.

I will go through those working back: the failure to test prisoners on entry. We have talked about the mislead, but the consequence of that is quite dire. If you want to get prisoners off drugs, if you want to get them into the rehabilitation program so that they do not then commit crimes when they get out—as we know, so many of their crimes are prompted by their drug use and abuse—then you have to test them on entry to work out who is on drugs to get them on the rehab program. How many have missed out on rehab programs and, therefore, have not been rehabilitated as a result of the failure?

How about the RFIDs? How much have we spent? How much are we going to waste? How much time are we spending on this RFID program? We have also got the cost of retrofitting bunks. Simon Corbell said that it was going to be right for 25 years with the current bed configuration. But we are currently putting bunk beds into the jail because, after two short years, the place is already full.

Mr Corbell talks about the Hamburger review with great pride, but he forgets that the only reason we are having an external independent review to look into this is because we called for it in this Assembly and we actually directed the minister to do this. He was just going to have some internal review of policy after 12 months, and this Assembly directed the external review to occur. He voted against it. He actually did not want external scrutiny. He did not want an independent review. When that motion was tabled in this Assembly—I think there were some amendments from the Greens as well—he voted against that. He did not want anyone looking at the jail, no doubt.

We have had the alleged rape of a remandee by a sentenced prisoner. I do not know if that matter has been heard yet. But this is part of the problem that we have got at the AMC. We have protected prisoners mixing with others. We have remandees and sentenced prisoners in the same jail. Mixing these different categories of prisoners is proving extremely complex. The Liberal opposition warned of this. This is one of the unique problems. If you create a small jail in a small jurisdiction and put everybody from maximum security prisoners down to young remandees in the same prison, you are going to have problems. We are seeing the fruits of that right now. We have seen staff complaints, we have seen prisoner complaints, we have seen protests on the roof and we have seen hep C transmissions.

In the short time I have remaining, I indicate that we will not be supporting the motion as it has been amended. The Greens’ amendment has moved the motion right away from the original intent, an intent that has been proved in this place—the minister is incompetent; the minister has been misleading; the minister has been refusing to accept responsibility. We want to see the evidence that the programs the government has told us are working are actually working. The Greens are again refusing to hold this government to account. There remains one party holding this government to account—that is the Canberra Liberals.

Question put:

That Mr Hanson’s motion, as amended, be agreed to.


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