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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2760 ..


Mrs Jones interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Pettersson): Mrs Jones, I can hear you from here. I will have to start warning and naming people. Mr Rattenbury.

MR RATTENBURY: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker.

The Inspector of Correctional Services’ report goes some way to affirming the experience of the individual. The ACT government’s response and actions must also provide the individual with comfort that serious steps are being taken to ensure that a similar event does not happen again, because in her letter to the minister she is very clear that is a key reason, that, despite the personal difficulty, she is speaking up—so that she might be heard and that the experiences she went through might be better dealt with in the future. That is the challenge that sits before the government and before the minister now. I know that he is committed to addressing those issues.

I also recognise that these steps cannot wipe the slate clean of the trauma and experience of that individual. Therefore, on behalf of the ACT Greens, I express our sorrow to the individual. I know that this cannot take away the memories or experience but I hope it can provide some piece of comfort, no matter how small.

I thank the work of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service in supporting the woman at the centre of this investigation and for their ongoing work, both at the AMC and in the community. I acknowledge the Justice Health staff for their work particularly in the prison and particularly around supporting detainees with their mental health and addressing the trauma that so many of our detainees have experienced in their lives prior to entering into custody.

As I made clear during my speech, the Greens will not be supporting this no confidence motion today. I welcome the words from the minister that he is committed to following through on the recommendations from the inspector. We must learn these lessons. We must take serious steps to ensure that we continue to strive for that higher standard for detainees in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (11.30): I speak in support of this important motion that Mrs Kikkert has brought to this chamber. It is a motion that Mrs Kikkert is forced to bring to this chamber because of the ongoing failures of the Minister for Corrections—failures that Labor and the Greens are complicit in by continuing to prop up this failure of a minister. You will, of course, remember that Mrs Kikkert brought a no confidence motion against Minister Gentleman in August, as a result of the unfathomable failures, the litany of failures, that this minister has overseen in his time as Minister for Corrections, from riots and violence amongst our detainees, to understaffing, under-training and overwork of our corrections officers.

If you said this minister was asleep at the wheel, it would be too kind. This minister’s record since coming to this portfolio is nothing short of shocking. Of all these failures, the report of the ACT Inspector of Correctional Services into a forceful and unlawful strip search conducted on a young and vulnerable Aboriginal woman as well as this


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