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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3484 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

end result is pleasing. I must admit to being a little disappointed that we were not able to make a recommendation on public versus private ownership and management, but do hope to make that recommendation in the near future. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MR HARGREAVES (4.28): I would like to echo Mr Osborne's comments about the service we receive from Fiona Clapin; it was nothing short of remarkable. In my 30 years of dealing with such reports, I think that this is probably the best one that I have seen in a long time and I congratulate her on that. I would also like to express my appreciation of the work of the other members of the committee. At one stage we had ideological differences about whether to go public or private and we were able to work through them in what I considered to be a very professional and amicable fashion. In the process, we have actually come to a particular position which, I would suggest, none of us ever thought we would be able to.

This report is the second interim report in the prison series. Members will note that the committee has a watching brief over the whole project. If I were a betting man, I would bet that our final report will be presented about a month after the prison is opened so that we can continue the process.

When we look at these sorts of reports, sometimes things pop out that we wish we had actually spoken about before. I would just like to draw attention to a couple of those, for the Government's information. They have only come to light recently and are not covered in the report, but I would like to share them with the Government anyway. One is about what we actually do with certain people who are sentenced to incarceration for a considerable length of time, for what is termed "at the governor's pleasure". It is something which was pointed out to me by a very near and dear friend, Tim Hall, who is sitting in the gallery at the moment, and I am grateful for that.

I refer to those people who have been, if you like, sentenced to a long period of incarceration somewhere, but not within a gaol system - within a mental institution, for example. The Government needs to consider how many of those sorts of people we have and how we will deal with them in the future. The Government also needs to consider how we will deal with people whose families are in the ACT, but who are themselves incarcerated in an interstate gaol and whose rehabilitation would be most ably served if they were transferred here. Given that we have only 125 inmates in New South Wales gaols at the moment and the Government intends to build an emporium of about 300 beds, I suggest that there will be room for that to be taken into consideration.

I turn to the report, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. The report actually does criticise the Government for its piecemeal approach to program development. Also, it says that the Government has not provided a vision statement, that one has not yet been released. I think that that is a shame. We are talking about a facility which will have an incredible social impact and will cost an enormous amount of money. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, it will cost about half as much as a football stadium out at Bruce. That is a heck of a lot of money. Would it not have been a good idea to work out what you wanted before you actually started looking at where you are going build it, how much it is going to cost and who is going to run it? But such was not the case.

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