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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2316 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

A reporting date of the last sitting day of June 2000 has been put forward. I would suggest that that is an appropriate time to be able to appropriately consider these recommendations. Mr Speaker, there has been much work in this area in the last few months. There have been a number of independent inquiries in this area by consultants and others, but I think that the inquiry as recommended by His Worship is appropriate. I therefore ask that the Assembly support the reference of this matter to the appropriate Assembly committee.

MS TUCKER (4.17): I move the following amendment to the motion:

Omit all words after and including "Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety", substitute "Standing Committee on Education, notwithstanding the committee's resolution of appointment of 28 April 1999, for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of June 2000".

I would like to comment firstly on the coronial recommendation. I read it differently. Mr Humphries correctly read out that the coroner recommended that "further consideration" be given to the recommendation regarding juvenile justice being put into the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The concerns that have been raised with me from the community about this issue have been strong and consistent in their content. I personally do not know whether Quamby should be kept in Education and in youth or whether it should be in adult corrections, but I have been strongly lobbied by people in the community who have daily contact with the issues and expertise in the area expressing great concerns about the possible consequences of this move.

The organisations which have contacted me include ACTCOSS, the Youth Coalition and Winnungah. The Aboriginal community is particularly concerned, because obviously there could be implications around how this fits with the black deaths in custody recommendations. I have even received an email the Official Visitor sent to Mr Humphries and Mr Stefaniak expressing concern. I am surprised that in her correspondence she informs us that this recommendation came to her notice via the media. There was no official communication on the subject. One would have thought that the Official Visitor was someone that government would have been interested to discuss this move with. I read part of that correspondence. The Official Visitor says:

It has come to my notice, via the Press primarily as I have had no official communication on the subject, that the Government intends to move Quamby from Education to Justice and Community Safety. Apparently this is in response to the Coronial Enquiry.

This appears to me to be an inappropriate response at this time. As a result of the Stevenson Review, Quamby is in the process of major restructure. The many changes that are currently being made have the potential to make Quamby a superior Juvenile Detention Centre. Many of these structures involve major links with Education and Family Services and to move into another department at this time would not be in the best interests of the outcomes. Part of the change is a major change in culture which must occur if Quamby is to best

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