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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2011) . . Page.. 1330 ..


MR DOSZPOT: Attorney, the Burnet report raises concerns about the effectiveness of searches as a means of reducing drugs in jail. Attorney, why are the searches ineffective at reducing the amount of drugs in the jail?

MR SPEAKER: Attorney, before you start, members, there is an increasing amount of preamble flowing into a number of questions that have come up today. Whilst I am going to allow Mr Doszpot’s question, I would remind members to perhaps think about the question they are going to ask.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Searches in the prison do detect drugs. You would not believe that if you listened to those opposite, but just last week two visitors to the AMC were arrested and charged with bringing contraband into the facility. So to suggest that procedures do not work in interdicting some contraband is simply false. But the real falsehood is to suggest that supply reduction strategies, that searches and other methodologies to detect contraband, will remove all contraband into the prison. That is the real falsehood. The real falsehood is for those opposite to claim that these strategies should achieve a 100 per cent success rate. The fact is they do not and those opposite who continue to assert that they can or should are the ones who are misleading our community on this important issue.

The challenge for those opposite is to engage in a sophisticated debate about the key public policy issues we are trying to address. They can seek to point score all they like and to highlight every discrepancy and every minor problem or more significant problem that occurs in the prison. But it does not contribute to a more sophisticated and considered public debate unless they recognise that supply reduction does not achieve the outcome they seek and that other approaches and other policies must also be considered.

MR HANSON: Supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Attorney-General, will you accept responsibility for the ineffective drug supply measures at the AMC which have resulted in a failure to halt the flow of drugs? If you will not accept responsibility, who will?

MR CORBELL: There you have it, Mr Speaker: the assertion from Mr Hanson that supply reduction can prevent all drugs entering the prison.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR CORBELL: We reject that assertion and I challenge those opposite to demonstrate where in Australia has supply reduction eliminated contraband into the prison environment? That is the simplistic, naive and misleading assertion from the shadow minister for corrections. It is naive, it is misleading, it is simplistic and it is false.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.


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