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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1452 ..


MR GENTLEMAN: I think that the way that prisons are managed and our AMC is managed ensures that we try and keep a safe environment in our prison. That is why our COs are trained to such an extent, particularly with the use of force and managing those detainees. Those detainees, of course, come from a difficult background and, indeed, bring with them some experiences that we do not normally see in our normal community. That is why our COs are trained so well to deal with these sorts of operations.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—chemical agent use

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, the ironically named Healthy Prison Review revealed that gas had never been used in the prison. Since then, the opposition has heard reports that gas such as tear gas or capsicum spray has been used at least twice since the November 2020 riots, including last night. According to the inspector’s review into the November riots, ACT Corrective Services had no policy about whether gas should be retained as a use-of-force option at the AMC. Minster, does ACT Corrective Services now have a policy on the use of gas, including capsicum spray and tear gas? If so, can you table it?

MR GENTLEMAN: Corrections officers are trained in use of force in all aspects, whether it is OC spray, CS gas, batons or other uses of force. Corrections officers are trained as, indeed, police and protective service officers are trained in those uses of force as well. In regard to this particular policy, I will take that on notice, because I am not sure that it would be appropriate to table the strategic use-of-force parameters in this vein. I will certainly take it on notice.

MR HANSON: I have a supplementary question. Minister, how many officers there last night during the riot had been trained in the use of OC spray and CS gas?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. I can advise that the volume of officers trained from January to April this year in chemical agent sprays was 66 officers; BA, 44 officers; CPR, 73 officers; 44 for fire, 63 for first aid; 11 for suicide and self-harm; 124 trained for use of force—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order on relevance, the question is specifically about the officers involved in last night’s riot not more generally how many are trained on an ongoing basis. If the minister could be directed to that. If he does not have that information, then maybe he can take it on notice.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think you are within scope but if you could provide some more detail that may be useful, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: I understand all officers are trained in use of force.

MRS KIKKERT: I have a second supplementary question. How many times has gas been used at the AMC since the November 2020 riot? Also, how many officers were not prepared to use the OC gas last night?


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