Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 February 2018) . . Page.. 276 ..
Alexander Maconochie Centre—drugs
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, On 16 January 2018, the Canberra Times reported that four inmates at the AMC had overdosed on drugs in the lead up to Christmas. Two patients had to be hospitalised, including one inmate who was in a coma. On 9 December 2017 the Canberra Times claimed that a quarter of inmates at the AMC were on the methadone program, almost three times the number in other jurisdictions. Minister, what substances caused the overdoses at the AMC in late 2017?
MR RATTENBURY: I will need to take some advice on that. I will bring that answer back to the Assembly.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why are there so many prisoners at the AMC on methadone as compared with other jurisdictions?
MR RATTENBURY: That is a matter for the medical staff at the AMC. That decision is taken by ACT Health staff who make individual decisions on each detainee. This is not a matter that the government dictates as policy; it is a matter of individual medical assessment. That is the answer to Mr Milligan’s question.
MRS JONES: Minister, are you working towards, or are you interested in seeing, inmates who are able to transition off methadone?
MR RATTENBURY: I think it is preferable where people can transition off methadone and for that matter other drugs. That is a very positive outcome, and that is something that I am having discussions with ACT Health about.
MADAM SPEAKER: Questions without notice? Tara—Ms Cheyne. It is the first week back after holidays. Forgive me, members.
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: I apologise for causing the distraction, members. Ms Cheyne.
MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Chief Minister.
Mrs Dunne: Wait for it.
Mrs Jones: We are all waiting.
MS CHEYNE: I am pleased; I am so pleased. This week the government has announced a significant number of new initiatives through the budget update. Why is the government expediting the delivery of these initiatives?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question—and Mr Hanson in advance for the interjections. In all seriousness, Madam Speaker, yes the initiatives that we have