Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2148 ..

As he outlined, this is a challenging portfolio, and I feel well placed to make that observation. Corrections is a difficult space. We have people who do not want to be there, in custody, who undertake a range of behaviours that we need to put in place the systems to deal with. Mr Gentleman outlined his focus on improvement for the AMC. Just as when I took the portfolio there were challenges in this space, Mr Gentleman has also come into the portfolio with issues that need to be resolved.

The AMC has been in a process of improvement since it was opened. We still have, compared to places like New South Wales and Victoria, a relatively young corrections system. We do not have the century or so of processes built up and systems in place, but I think the ACT corrections system has made significant steps in the 12 years or so that the AMC has been open. I know Minister Gentleman is committed to continuing that journey of making sure that we have a high-standard, safe, rehabilitative corrections system here in the ACT.

It has been noted this morning that the ACT has one of the most transparent corrections systems in the country. I think that is a good reflection on our jurisdiction. Mechanisms like the Inspector for Correctional Services mean that members of this place probably know more about their corrections system than any other member of parliament in Australia knows about theirs, and that is a good thing.

It is better that these things are out in the open, and I think our community benefits from that as well, in both understanding the complexity of dealing with the corrections system and knowing what the government needs to do to continue to improve it.

I know that Minister Gentleman is committed to working for better outcomes, both for the detainees and for staff, because we need to focus on both sides of the equation in these discussions. We have two really important sets of stakeholders here. At the end of the day, the biggest set of people we have in mind is the community, because if we run a good corrections system then the community as a whole will be safer.

I am certainly committed to working with Minister Gentleman for better justice outcomes overall. It is not just about the jail; it is about thinking about how we invest right through the justice systems to make this community as safe as possible.

In terms of today’s motion, we have not heard anything from the opposition which supports their motion. What we have heard is a series of slights that are about the challenges that arise in a corrections system. This is not some fantasy world that the Liberal Party is trying to describe; these things do happen. The question is about what the minister does to respond to it. I have confidence that Minister Gentleman is taking the right steps to continue to drive the improvement we need to see in our corrections system—a journey we have been on over an extended period of time—to get to the best place we can be with our corrections system.

As I say, the Greens will support him to achieve those steps, and we will not be supporting the motion today.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video