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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 November 2011) . . Page.. 5265 ..


MR CORBELL: I have not misled the community about anything. The obligation on me is that once an error is drawn to my attention I correct it. And that is what I did. I did so publicly. I did it publicly on ABC radio. I did it publicly by social media. That is my obligation as a minister.

Youth justice—strip searches

MS HUNTER: My question is to the minister for children and young people and relates to the youth justice system. Minister, in a response I received to a question taken on notice from 20 October of this year about routine strip searching within Bimberi, you said that young people are not routinely strip searched on the way to and from court, but that decisions are informed by risk assessment of each individual case. The Human Rights Commission report found:

There was information in the register, confirmed verbally by staff, that young people were routinely strip searched on their way to, and from, court. Rarely was anything found.

Minister, can you inform us of why you disputed this finding in the government response to the report and again in your recent answer?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Hunter for her question. Strip searches are part and parcel of the youth justice environment within the detention centre. But as replied to in the answer to the question on notice, on the advice I have from the department, young people are not routinely—nor should they be routinely—strip searched as they go to and from court. They are patted down and certainly there is a risk assessment and strip searches are applied accordingly.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary.

MS HUNTER: Minister, can you tell us the total number of times that a young person has travelled to and from Bimberi and court, the number of times a strip search was conducted and the number of completed risk assessment forms on the register of searches and uses of force in the last 12 months?

MS BURCH: Clearly a question with that level of detail I will take on notice and bring back as I can.

MS LE COUTEUR: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: On what basis does the government response dispute the Human Rights Commission’s finding that strip searches have been conducted in the presence of staff of the opposite gender, contrary to the Children and Young People Act, and what have you done to satisfy yourself that this is not the case?

Mr Seselja: Now breaching another act—breaching acts all over the place.


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