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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2756 ..


has done quite a significant amount of work to improve the lives of detainees at the AMC, including ensuring that prison officers and staff at the AMC are cared for and understood, and that they have access to professional development to ensure that human rights of detainees at the AMC are considered in a careful manner.

Minister Gentleman commissioned a report. Nobody else commissioned that and it would not have happened, and those recommendations would not have been made, if Minister Gentleman had not stepped in and said, “We need to understand exactly what is going on here.” He had an independent investigation done of the situation at the AMC that the government could act on that—and, appropriately, has. Since that work, between January and April 2021, there have been a significant number of staff who have now been updated in a range of professional development training. That includes training around breathing apparatuses, resuscitation, CPR, fire awareness, first aid, and suicide and self-harm, as well as training in the use of force and compliance.

That compliance training has increased from 43 per cent to 75 per cent in January. I know that Minister Gentleman and the Corrective Services team have been absolutely committed to continuous improvement through all those training programs to ensure that the staff at the AMC have appropriate professional development that takes into account the seriousness of their work and the fact that they take their work seriously. It is professional development that supports staff to gain expertise to ensure that our AMC detainees are treated appropriately in that place.

I spoke last time about the work that I had done with Minister Gentleman around women in the AMC, particularly around making sure that they were moved to their own area, which was much more suited to female detainees. In addition to that, we were able to provide a return-to-work program to women in the AMC. So I was interested to hear what Mrs Kikkert said today about the work of cleaners somehow not being appropriate for detainees in the AMC. Cleaners, now more than ever, are absolutely vital in keeping us safe and secure in such an uncertain environment as we have been going through over the last 18 months or so with regard to the international health pandemic that we are all experiencing.

Without question, the ACT government absolutely values the work of our cleaners in the ACT, particularly now. I think Mrs Kikkert made a mistake when she mentioned cleaning as not being work worthy of people who were—

Opposition members interjecting

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Members.

MS BERRY: But maybe she needs to reconsider, and I am sure she does respect the work of cleaners. She may need to rephrase the way that she talked about it.

Opposition members interjecting

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Members, I cannot hear the speaker. So please, everyone, let us proceed in an orderly manner.


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