Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2607 ..
Islander students, with the support of teachers, engaged with the NAIDOC theme, showing a short film by Briggs about how the national anthem reinforces the dominant perspective of our nation’s history. It is critical that we embrace these sometimes difficult opportunities and conversations. (Time expired.)
Alexander Maconochie Centre—accommodation pressure
MRS JONES: My question is to the minister for corrections. It is in relation to the ongoing population pressures at the AMC. Minister, how many detainees are currently housed in the AMC?
MR RATTENBURY: I do not have an exact figure for today but the last report I received it was under 450.
MRS JONES: Minister, have you developed contingency plans for beds if the population exceeds the capacity of 511 detainees?
MR RATTENBURY: As I am sure you are aware, Corrective Services does not have a choice whether it receives detainees. We will always ensure that we have the capacity to receive the detainees that the courts send to Corrective Services.
MR HANSON: Minister, what are those plans and how will detainees be accommodated should the population exceed operational capacity? Will you be forced to use triple-bunking or roll-away beds?
MR RATTENBURY: There is a range of possible scenarios. At the moment we obviously do have capacity. As members are well aware, we put in place a number of strategies to seek to reduce the number of people being sent to the AMC through a range of justice reinvestment programs. I am happy to go into lengthy detail with members if they wish as there is quite a lot of work going on in that space. Of course, the government has started planning for an expansion of the AMC through the development of the rehabilitation centre outside the perimeter. This was funded in this year’s budget and planning work on that is now well underway.
MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, ACT Health claims, according to its documentation, to be the safest healthcare system in Australia, delivering high quality, person-centred care. Yet on 3 July the media reported that hospitals were discharging patients and giving them swags because there was nowhere for them to stay. Minister, why have our public hospitals been discharging patients into homelessness?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will have to come back to Mrs Dunne and the Assembly. I will take that question on notice. I do not believe that it is hospital practice to discharge people into homelessness but I will come back on that particular issue.
I would say, in terms of the quality of care that our hospitals and health services provide, that in fact the Canberra Hospital and public health services across the ACT