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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2152 ..


Corrections. The reason the AMC has an independent oversight body is because you cannot implement a very simple—

Ms Berry: Madam Speaker, a point of order. I understand that discussions on motions in the Assembly are to be directed to the chair and not to the minister.

MADAM SPEAKER: It is through the chair, thank you, Mrs Kikkert.

MRS KIKKERT: Thank you, my apologies. The Minister for Corrections has mentioned that the AMC has an independent oversight body, but that is because the minister cannot implement a simple recommendation such as providing adequate emergency training for our corrections officers. He needs training wheels from the oversight committee to tell him to provide training for the corrections officers. Please do it. That is not an experienced minister’s attitude; that is the attitude of an inexperienced and sleepy minister.

The minister also refrained from commenting on a serious event. This is a sign of his weakness and uselessness. That is not how an adult works in the real world when a serious incident happens under his watch. His behaviour is immature, and he is not fit to be the Minister for Corrections.

In response to the Greens spokesperson for corrections, Andrew Braddock: go back and read my speech and be educated on why this is a valid motion. The Chief Minister talked about political points. This is not about political points; this is about doing the right thing—the right thing for our corrections officers.

The government has been in government for so long that they are blinded and are fixated on their mismanagement that they think all is well and good. That is not reality. They have demonstrated that even though they have been in government for years, they are still babies on a dummy who do not know how to govern a prison. And when you cannot govern a prison, you cannot govern a territory.

This motion is long overdue. Some may say that Mr Gentleman has only held the portfolio for less than a year and that many of the little fires he has had to put out were ultimately the fault of Mr Rattenbury. I say that the years’ long failings of the AMC are the responsibility of the entire government. Since the opening of the prison, this government has stumbled its way from crisis to crisis. Its response to its errors in the past has been the same as it was today—to dodge responsibility and pass it on to someone else. When will this government take responsibility for the sad state of our prison?

This motion may be defeated but it will still serve at least one purpose—to ensure this government knows that the opposition and the people of Canberra have no confidence in Minister Gentleman and that his miserable management of the AMC will no longer be tolerated.

The government’s failings are no longer contained to the prison, where the government can hope that fences will hide the problems within. Its failings were in full view on 9 July all over Oxley Street, Hindmarsh Drive and Canberra Avenue.


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