Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 1000 ..
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.52): I was not expecting to speak to this line item, but Mr Rattenbury wanted to dig into a bit of history, even though he is not the Minister for Corrections. I just want to make the point, because I was the shadow minister back in 2008 to 2012, about this whole idea of, “Oh my goodness, the numbers are more than we ever thought they would be; this is beyond our control. We didn’t know this was going to happen; therefore we have to put remandees in with sentenced prisoners and we have got to move women out of cottages and put them in inappropriate accommodation.” The reason for this is that the government did not deliver what it promised. It delivered something sooner than planned and cut costs because of cost blowouts. The reality is that in 2004 Mr Stanhope was the leader of the government and I will quote him.
They do not like me quoting Mr Stanhope, but he said that the Alexander Maconochie Centre would include a new 139-bed remand centre—that did not happen—to replace the Belconnen Remand Centre and the Symonston Temporary Remand Centre. He said:
It will include a 175-bed facility for sentenced prisoners and a 60-bed transitional release centre …
That, in my estimation, is 374 beds. That is not what the AMC opened with. Mr Rattenbury is nodding his head. This Labor government promised something. You have the estimates numbers and I have got all the FOI documents if you want to have a look at them at your leisure later, Mr Deputy Speaker. The estimates showed that the prison needed to be about that big. It was to open with 374 beds and a separate remand centre, but did that happen? No. This Labor government, back in 2008, delivered something without a remand centre, way too soon. Now we are paying the price.
I just want to make it clear that when Labor members and Greens members come into this place and say, “We are staggered by these numbers,” Mr Rattenbury will nod his head again. This Labor government did not deliver what it promised. It delivered something way under that. As I am saying this, Mr Rattenbury is nodding. They delivered something less than was promised. Mr Corbell said that the prison would have capacity, in its delivered configuration, for 25 years without any modification. He said that in a committee hearing. He said, “This will have capacity for 25 years without modification.” We were misled in this place, by the then Labor government which promised something to this community. And because they fudged it and misled the community about what was going to happen—
Ms Cheyne: Point of order. Mr Hanson has just gone on a tirade of unparliamentary language, and I suggest that he withdraw it. “Fudging” and “misleading” is unparliamentary.
MR HANSON: If there is any confusion, I will withdraw the fact that the Assembly was misled. I would be happy to bring that back as a substantive motion. Actually