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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3883 ..


MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.27): Very briefly to close, the deaf community in the ACT is not a large community but it is close knit and many members provide support to each other. But that also places a burden on them for their own mental health, in that they accumulate the burden from other people, sometimes at all hours of the day or night, on weekends et cetera. We need to make sure that we have services in place that can provide professionals who can provide mental health support in the most culturally and linguistically appropriate way for members of the deaf and deafblind community. I look forward to progress in this area. I thank members for their support today.

Ms Lawder’s amendment to Mr Rattenbury’s proposed amendment agreed to.

Mr Rattenbury’s amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—accommodation for female detainees

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (4.29): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that the ACT Government has failed to provide appropriate accommodation and facilities for women detained at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC);

(2) further notes:

(a) on 29 April 2019, a female detainee escaped her compound to meet up with a male detainee in a restricted area of the prison outside of CCTV view;

(b) reports that at least one detainee has seen her rapist in a nearby cellblock; and

(c) that female detainees are frequently subjected to cat-calling, goading and whistling from the surrounding male cellblocks; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to appropriately house women in the AMC to resolve such issues.

When the minister announced in 2017 that he would finally address the women’s accommodation crisis at the AMC, moving the women out of the cottages, management unit and health centre beds and accommodating them in the men’s section of the prison, we never envisaged that he would have thought it was a permanent arrangement and that he would refuse to address the need for a long-term solution, or at least a long-term plan for a solution, for years and years.

I have been having many conversations with people on the ground about the nature of the women’s accommodation at the AMC. There are two fundamental issues to address. Firstly, the accommodation has been somewhat adapted but it is not designed


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