Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3591 ..
the budget papers that it has been postponed. This was a discussion through the budget process. Following the damage done to the Alexander Maconochie Centre, both through the unrest we saw late last year and through the hailstorm, there are significant capital repair works that need to be done at the AMC.
As members will appreciate, in a custodial environment, it is not easy to have tradespeople just wandering around and doing all that work at once. So the government took a very deliberate decision to prioritise those urgent repairs this year. It is disappointing that that has seen a delay to the funding for the reintegration centre. But the reintegration centre remains in the budget. Those funds are there; they have simply been deferred while those urgent works take place. I agree with Minister Gentleman about the necessity of doing those urgent repairs, but we remain committed to the reintegration centre. It is an important part of providing a range of responses to those who are in the criminal justice system.
We need to equip our corrections system with a range of response capabilities—from maximum security, for those who need that, through to lower security and rehabilitative environments. We know that most people in the AMC will get out. There are very few who will spend the balance of their natural lives in custody. People will return to the community. Therefore, we need to do everything we can while they are in custody to give them skills and deal with some of the underlying issues that led to their criminal behaviour, so that when they come back into the community, the community is safer and the people returning to our community become Canberrans who participate in the community, have better lives, and are not committing further crime.
It is inaccurate for Mr Cain to describe the funding as having been withdrawn from the budget. We have seen other commentators in the public domain make similarly inaccurate comments. It is simply not the case.
Overall, this budget makes important investments for the justice system in this territory. I commend this output class to the Assembly.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Debate (on motion by Ms Cheyne) adjourned to a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.03 to 2.00 pm.
MR BARR: The Deputy Chief Minister will be absent from question time. I will endeavour to assist members with questions in the DCM’s portfolios.
Questions without notice
COVID-19—testing centre fees
MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, this morning on ABC radio you confirmed that Canberrans are being charged $112 if they require a