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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4620 ..

Ms Follett: It is an absolute disgrace.

MR STEFANIAK: It is not an absolute disgrace, Ms Follett. I do not think the Police Association or the community, or even the young people themselves would thank you for that comment. It is, I think, about the most appropriate way of dealing with this. I am not going to go into all the other things that are happening there, because you are probably well aware of them, Ms Reilly; but I think it is, in all the circumstances, the most appropriate measure to take to address the vast majority of escapes since the new Quamby was opened over two years ago.

MS REILLY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can I have an answer as to why the costs of the fence have changed from $30,000, which you announced initially, to $85,000? It is a quite considerable increase in cost. Will you inform the Assembly when you know the date of its opening?

MR STEFANIAK: I certainly will. In fact, that is probably going to be in the next 48 hours, in which case, obviously, I will inform the Assembly. But, if not, as soon as I am advised that it is operational, I will certainly advise you, Ms Reilly, and I will also advise the public by means of a press release.

I understand, Ms Reilly, that the $30,000 that was mentioned was an estimate - a very optimistic estimate, perhaps - that was made some time ago. However, I think the cost of $85,000 is eminently cheaper than what might have been better to start with - a proper wall around there - which I understand would have cost in excess of $1m. Of all the other options, Ms Reilly, the only cheaper option than this would be razor wire, and I do not think any of us would want anything like that. So, in terms of what is the most cost effective and appropriate, I think you will find, Ms Reilly, that the cost of any other type of fence would be quite horrific. We are talking of upwards of $1m. This certainly is the most reasonable and cost-effective means of securing the perimeter of Quamby, which I think is in everyone's interests, including the interests of the young people themselves.

Mrs Carnell: I request that any further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Armed Hold-ups

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, in question time last week I took a question from Mr Osborne about armed robberies. I want to add to my answer. A forum is being conducted by the Australian Federal Police at the Winchester Centre tomorrow to which members of the various industries that have been hit by the spate of armed robberies have been invited. The idea is to promote discussion on a range of security and investigation issues. The AFP is keen to canvass the issue of procedures to be followed by bank staff during and following an armed robbery. It therefore is one of those things being done to deal with the problem Mr Osborne raised.

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