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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2733 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

sees as too many checks and balances on the powers of an elected government to make decisions, so it has opposed historically the power of the Senate and upper houses generally.

The Labor Party has opposed wide use of a vice-regal power. In the present context of the debate about a republic, its members have opposed the appointment or election of a president who would have wider powers than are perceived to be the powers of the present Governor-General, because the Labor Party historically is opposed to the exercise of power outside an Executive. It prefers generally to have that power in the hands of an Executive.

For my part, as a Liberal, I have to say I generally favour a different model where there is a diffusion of power throughout the political process, where you do have checks and balances and where there are brakes on the excesses of government, so that governments are forced to argue their position, and we have achieved something of that in the ACT.

Mr Speaker, I am quite certain that the stunt that we have seen from the ALP in supporting this sort of motion is the kind of position they would not adopt if they were on this side of the chamber. I am also quite sure that had Mr Kaine remained in the Liberal Party his view would have been extremely different from the one he takes at the moment as well.

I want to put on record too, Mr Speaker, a very clear response to Mr Rugendyke's concern about the potential integration, in some form or other, of Quamby or the children's juvenile justice facility with the ACT gaol. I think it is fairly clear that a number of significant barriers present themselves to integrating those two facilities. One of them is the United Nations declaration on the rights of the child which quite specifically says that there should be a separation between adult and juvenile facilities for correction. Even the co-location of those facilities on the same campus would, I think, send an unfortunate signal, and I doubt very much that that would ever be contemplated by any government in the ACT. It is certainly expressly ruled out by the Carnell Government.

Mr Speaker, there are potential advantages in integrating some aspects of the management of those facilities. It is possible to integrate the provision of some services to those facilities - for example, food services, chaplaincy services, and possibly educational services. Those things could be better integrated and we would certainly explore that in a model which allows the Government to have a Minister for Justice responsible for adult corrections and juvenile corrections - adult justice services, if you like, and juvenile justice services. That is about giving the best outcome for both sectors.

Mr Speaker, the Government has made this decision because it believes that there are advantages in bringing together those services, because it believes that the court in this particular coronial inquest also foresaw some advantages in that process, and because we believe that we need to demonstrate that we are actively reviewing the way in which these facilities are constructed and operated. For my part, as a person at some distance before now to the operation of Quamby, I have to say my perception is that Quamby has been isolated from other juvenile justice facilities elsewhere in Australia and from the

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