Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3113 ..
whole, and this has at times necessitated the implementation of changed arrangements. I recognise the added pressures experienced by all stakeholders and commend their resilience under pressure.
I would particularly like to acknowledge the amazing commitment of the staff and service providers working in the corrections system. These people are deeply passionate about what they do and consistently go above and beyond in caring for and providing support to those in both custodial and community settings. As I have said many times before, supporting the staff at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, or AMC, and the Court Transport Unit is a key priority for the ACT government and for me personally.
It is clear that as we work to implement a broad reform agenda across corrections we need to do so in a way that is supportive of and engages our staff. By engaging and supporting our staff, equipping them with the necessary skills and training, we will improve outcomes for everyone involved in the corrections system, including both staff and detainees. This is something that both Acting Commissioner Johnson and I are absolutely committed to.
By way of an update on the COVID-19 situation, I am pleased to advise that ACT Corrective Services last week moved to stage 2 of their COVID-19 pandemic arrangements. The transition to stage 2 allowed for the easing of some restrictions across the AMC, including the recommencement of the readiness and healthy relationship programs.
An important aspect of ACT Corrective Service’s future planning will be the recommencement of face-to-face social and professional visits. ACTCS is also planning for a return to a normalised level of supervision of offenders in the community, as well as a range of other activities across corrections.
I can advise that, to date, a total of 11 detainees have tested positive to COVID-19 at the AMC. Nine of these have since recovered. Each of these detainees tested positive on arrival and have been isolated since admission. I am pleased that we have been able to put in place precautionary measures which have ensured that positive cases are picked up on arrival and that the risk posed by staff members is low, due to the excellent use of personal protective equipment such as masks, and the choice of many to take up a vaccine.
More broadly, over the past few years we have seen a number of reviews highlight areas requiring focus and improvement. I and the government take the findings of these reviews very seriously. Since taking on the corrections portfolio, I have seen substantial progress and improvement on a range of important initiatives. I am pleased to speak about some of those examples today.
Four recruit courses have been completed, resulting in 54 corrections officers joining ACTCS, with 16 joining the Court Transport Unit and 38 joining AMC. I have had the pleasure of meeting and welcoming many of these staff personally, having attended their graduation ceremony.