Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 301 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Members have raised the issue of cost. Cost is a factor. Members are aware of the high cost - it is over $50,000 per person per year - of housing somebody in the New South Wales gaol system. One obviously hopes that we can reduce that cost in an ACT prison system, although I would have to put on the record that that is by no means guaranteed, given that we will have a smaller system, obviously, than New South Wales and economies of scale will not be there. So, notwithstanding the fact that the New South Wales gaol system makes a profit on ACT prisoners transported to that jurisdiction, we have to work very hard to make sure that the system is kept cost effective to the ACT.

If the case Mr Stanhope was referring to was the one that I have in mind, it certainly was quite an unhappy experience for me to have to turn down the family of that particular prisoner in another jurisdiction. I might advise the Assembly that I have indicated to that family that, if it is possible for a prisoner to be found who would wish a transfer in the opposite direction and that prisoner's term is likely to be approximately of the same duration as that of the prisoner in the other jurisdiction, we may be able to organise, in effect, a swap. This is not exactly the sort of on-the-border-of-the-Iron-Curtain-type swap of prisoners that you see in movies, but it obviously is related to the question of costs borne by different jurisdictions. The ACT, being a very small jurisdiction, simply cannot afford to have large numbers of prisoners being transferred into our area of responsibility, obviously, for the meantime, housed in New South Wales, if that is not offset by similar movements outside the ACT's area of responsibility.

I was not aware that Mr Stanhope had been at those meetings of SCAG as an assistant to the Federal Attorney-General. I will have to go back and review what I said at those meetings now that - - -

Mr Stanhope: I have a record, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: You have a record? That worries me considerably. I will have to review carefully what I said.

Mr Stanhope: It's the SCAG dinner that I have recorded.

MR HUMPHRIES: Oh, dear. Now I am extremely worried, Mr Speaker. I will have to see Mr Stanhope afterwards and carry a sum of money with me to buy his silence. Mr Speaker, I thank members for their support for the legislation which, as I say, will not be used often, but when it is used it will need to be comprehensive, and I think that is what it is.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .