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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 April 2011) . . Page.. 1447 ..


The drug services are fragmented. There is inadequate hep C testing. That means that people are getting false positives that are encouraging them to take risky behaviours. The case management is flawed. Prisoner through-care is inadequate. The counselling of prisoners is deficient. Education, employment and recreational programs compare unfavourably with New South Wales, as do the scope and the number of rehab programs, which are poorly attended, often not completed. Prisoners with mental illness are not getting adequate treatment and support, and health staff appear to be pushing methadone on prisoners who have already detoxed.

The Hamburger report has listed a litany of problems, but let us talk about the capacity because that came up in question time. There have been three or four numbers bandied around. The first number is 374. What was promised by the Stanhope government in 2004? It was 374 beds. They then backed away from that because that was absolutely an election promise that was broken in 2004. Simon Corbell then said, “We will deliver a 300-bed facility.” What happened then? They delivered that. What they are now telling us is that it has only got a capacity for 245. So there are actually only 245 that can go into the jail.

But when we look at the answer to the question on notice—and we talked about the Treasury projections that Simon Corbell was talking about in question time—their own projections say that by 2011, by now, the capacity of the prison was meant to be 260 prisoners. So Simon Corbell is saying, “We know that there is a difference between bed numbers and capacity, we know the capacities are only 245.” On the other hand, his Treasury advice that he had in 2006 told him that by now there would be 260 people in here. That is why they are retrofitting bunk beds and they are looking at having to expand the jail.

They are being told by Mr Hamburger that the current capacity of the jail is having a negative impact on security and safety of prisoners. That is because Simon Corbell broke an election promise to deliver a prison of 374 which would have had the capacity to make sure that this could be effectively managed. They did not deliver on what was an election promise. That is why we have these problems, and this reason, amongst so many others, is why this minister should be censured.

How can he say that this is a teething problem? How can he say that the fact that Mr Hamburger found that the reality is that we have security and safety issues because of the capacity of this jail, a jail that Simon Corbell broke an election promise on and delivered 74 beds under, is a teething problem? It is not. It clearly is not, as are many of the problems raised by the Burnet Institute and Mr Hamburger.

I do not think that systemic issues with governance and Corrective Services are teething problems. The litany of problems since this jail opened was covered by Mrs Dunne. It is extensive. It is listed on the notice paper and any reading of this, any cursory reading of this, will show members that this minister has failed. He has failed the prisoners, he has failed the community, he has failed the staff and he deserves to be censured.

Question put:


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