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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2151 ..


after the well-known incidents that have been discussed in this place occurred, Minister Gentleman and I visited the AMC. Minister Gentleman spent that time talking to as many of the correctional officers as possible, listening to them about their concerns and trying his very hardest to extend some hope to those officers, rather than coming in here and making a huge fuss about something that needed a dedicated minister to start paying attention to those corrections officers in the way that Mick Gentleman did.

I support him for that work. While we were there, Minister Gentleman and I spoke to the female detainees who, under Minister Gentleman’s leadership, have moved to the purpose-built women’s care centre accommodation facility. We got to speak to and listen to the female detainees about their experiences, of course, understanding very clearly that they have experienced complex trauma, family and sexual assaults, as well as coming from complex and complicated lives. Minister Gentleman’s caring nature in that environment was felt by the female detainees, and they were grateful for his visit to talk to them and listen to their concerns.

In addition, working with Minister Gentleman in his role as Minister for Corrections, I have been able to extend the women’s return-to-work grants to female detainees in the AMC. We got to speak to and hear from one of the female detainees who had been a successful applicant of that grant and how she had used that grant to further her education for employment when she is able to return to the community after her time in the AMC. She was eternally grateful for the support Minister Gentleman and I have provided through that return-to-work grant and hoped that could be extended to other female detainees. Minister Gentleman and I will work on that process to ensure that female detainees can get the work experience and training they need so when they return to community they can stay there and out of the justice system.

Finally, Minister Gentleman also developed a new women offenders framework, which ensures that staff are provided with best-practice principles to better support female detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. So in the very short time of working with Minister Gentleman in his role as corrections minister, he has been forthright, caring and considerate in how he has worked with the female detainees, with my office and the Office for Women. Importantly, he has provided corrections officers in that place some hope that he will work with them and with their union, the CPSU, and Minister Gentleman described this morning how he received a text from them indicating their support and confidence in him in that role. In that vein, of course we do not support the motion today.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.51), in reply: Mick Gentleman says he has always stepped up for our workers. If that were the case, if that were correct, he would not allow corrections officers to use an unsuitable vehicle and he would give training to corrections officers so they are prepared for riots. He is not stepping up for our workers; he is waking up from his sleep as the Minister for Corrections for nine months. That is what you are doing—you are not stepping up; you are waking up from your sleepy sleep.

The minister met with the staff and he commented on the message of hope. Let me reassure you that the message of hope is for you to step down as the Minister for


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