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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2728 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

There have been a number of changes made there in terms of arrangements regarding mixes of young people too, including one this Assembly passed not all that long ago to ensure that young people who were over 18 or had committed offences or had needs which could only be met in the New South Wales system could also be sent there. Those are changes that people also need to bear in mind. Quite clearly, very significant changes have been made and implemented, especially over the last 12 months, which are very much to the benefit of young offenders. It has been a delight to go out there over the last six months and see how they have been operating and how the new staff and the juveniles there are responding to the administration. That is something that will continue. We have reiterated that time and time again, and I think that is the most important point here, together with the fact that we are a relatively small jurisdiction. We have, quite clearly, an indication from the most experienced magistrate in relation to this. Those points are very much behind the decision taken by the Chief Minister to transfer these administrative arrangements.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Rugendyke, before I call upon you I would like to recognise the presence in the gallery of His Worship, the Mayor of Yass, Mr Ken Helm. Welcome.

MR RUGENDYKE (3.51): Mr Speaker, this motion creates several dilemmas for me. My first impression of the move of the administration of matters relating to Quamby from Education to Justice was that it was a good move. Taking into consideration my policing background, I saw it as a good move. One dilemma, Mr Speaker, is that I have been lobbied by colleagues and friends within the youth sector, including the Richmond Fellowship, the Aboriginal community, Barnardos, Marymead and others, who have expressed concern at this move.

Another dilemma I have is that this motion has been brought on by Ms Tucker, who criticises me regularly, as she did last week for not listening to people I purport to have an interest in. This is a type of tactic that is employed regularly and it is destructive. It does alienate people in this Assembly and in the sector outside the Assembly. Irrespective of what Ms Tucker has to say about me, I do have a sense of feeling for the people in Quamby and the people who ultimately may be affected by this move.

Mr Speaker, I believe that Quamby needs a serious shake-up. I think there is an entrenched culture within Quamby that needs to be rectified. I also recognise that there needs to be a strong emphasis on education and rehabilitation, an emphasis that I hope is strongly maintained. I also hope that moving Quamby under the umbrella of Justice is not simply done to bolster numbers, to make an ACT gaol viable by way of numbers. My suspicion is that that is the case.

Mr Humphries: No, it is not. I can assure you that it is not the case.

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Humphries interjects, "No, it is not", and I will hold him to that. Mr Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech of Mr Osborne, and section 43 of the Self-Government Act makes it quite clear that the Executive have the authority to place portfolio responsibilities where they wish. Personally, my wish would be for Children's Services to be taken out of Education and placed under Health, but it is not up to the Assembly, the legislature, to direct the Executive to make those types of moves.

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