Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1229 ..
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Chief Minister. I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I refer to the Chief Minister's media release of 24 September 1996 when, as Minister for Health, she announced that the 1996-97 budget would provide $250,000 to develop a comprehensive hepatitis C prevention and management program. Will the Chief Minister reaffirm that, in the development and implementation of that program, officials did not brief her about the contaminated blood issue?
MS CARNELL: No, they did not.
MR HIRD: My question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety, Mr Humphries. I was interested to read in the Valley View comments made by Mr John Hargreaves, a member of a committee which I am on - that is, the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety - that the new ACT prison will not be located in Tuggeranong. Mr Hargreaves made this statement because three of the four committee members represent the seat of Brindabella and therefore would not allow the prison to be sited within their electorate. Can you inform the parliament, sir, whether or not this is the case?
MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, Mr Speaker, I can.
Mr Kaine: Obviously the answer is no.
MR HUMPHRIES: The answer may well be no, Mr Speaker. The comments made by Mr Hargreaves have much veracity, but I will come back to that in a moment. I also read the article in the Valley View. I will read it to members so that they know what it said:
A further indication that a prison would not be constructed in Tuggeranong came, Mr Hargreaves said, because three of the four members on the committee considering possible sites were Brindabella MLAs, including himself, chairperson Paul Osborne and Trevor Kaine who were all likely to oppose a prison in Tuggeranong.
So, Mr Speaker, I do not know. I would have thought, given what the people of Cooma have been saying lately about losing their gaol, that people in any electorate in the ACT would be quite happy to have a prison offering employment within their region, but that is another matter.
Mr Speaker, the article is incorrect. The Government has not made any decisions about the final site for a prison and we are not ruling any location out. I must say I was appalled by the lack of judgment shown by Mr Hargreaves in the comments he made to the Valley View and his subsequent public statements on this issue. To assert that members