Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2763 ..
Mr Braddock, the Greens spokesperson for corrections backed in his political ally, telling us how hard it is to run the facility, how hard the minister’s job is and how there are no easy fixes. He might do well to remember that, when he says that all these issues were there before his time, the minister who had the corrections portfolio was his own party leader. And he might remember that!
If Mr Braddock thinks that the minister has got it hard, let us think about detainee A. Her name is Juliann. She is not a statistic, Minister. She is a young First Nations woman. She is a victim, a survivor of sexual assault. She is a Canberran. She is far from perfect. But who of us is? She is someone who needed government support and did not get it. Instead, what she got was another cold, callous, unsympathetic response from this minister. Unlike what this minister has reduced her to, she is not another statistic. She is a human being, just like you and I, and she deserves to be treated with dignity and have her human rights upheld.
As a minister of this government with the responsibility of overseeing our corrections system, it is Mr Gentleman who is ultimately accountable for the actions, good or bad, that happen in our prisons. I implore all members of all this chamber to think about Juliann, to think about the scathing comments in the inspector’s report, which clearly outlined breaches of the Human Rights Act, and to act in the best interests of our community.
Typical of the Greens when it comes to action, they are missing. It is all rhetoric, but, when there is an opportunity to actually implement on the ground, as Minister Rattenbury said, everything they say they stand for, they fail once again.
I commend Mrs Kikkert for her ongoing and tireless advocacy for Canberrans like Juliann and our corrections officers, who have been woefully let down by this minister. I call on all members of this Assembly to support this motion. As an Assembly, we need to restore the public’s faith in the government’s management of the AMC.
Whilst there is clearly much to do and whilst the wrongs done under this minister’s watch cannot be undone, all members in this chamber standing up to say that the ongoing failures of this minister are not good enough, that they will no longer be tolerated, is something that we owe this community. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (11.41), in reply: I notice that Mr Gentleman said that this motion is clearly a stunt and a desperate move by the Canberra Liberals. I must admit I am desperate. I am desperate for things to change in the AMC, but this is no stunt. Identifying breaches of human rights in our prison is no stunt at all. The truth is every single time we bring forward to this chamber the truth of the failings of the government they say, “This is a stunt,” or, “This is a political stunt,” like an unstable, emotional child that cannot cope with the truth when it comes staring at them.
I am disappointed that this motion will have this outcome. I want to reiterate, though, that this serious motion has still shone a light on the failings of this government when