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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2660 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

My final concern is that there does not appear to be any indication at the moment as to what the government believes is the maximum cost they should incur for this facility. It has jumped from approximately $35 million to $110 million. In other words, it has increased by 200 per cent, and we have not even dug the first hole or entered into the first contract.

I imagine that this project is going to continue to escalate in cost, and we will see an ultimate cost far in excess of $110 million, in my view. I believe the government ought to have some idea in its mind-in fact, a firm idea in its mind-of what it believes is the total cost that the community should incur to create a facility like a prison. They should not leave it open ended and end up paying $160 million, $180 million or $200 million, when an assessment at this stage could well show that that would be beyond the resources of this community to fund. I have heard no indication from the government of what they believe a feasible maximum cost of such a facility is.

Over many months we dealt with many facets of this project. I hope that we have been able to be of some use to the government and to the community in coming to conclusions about the nature of this prison, how it should be run, what the philosophy of operation ought to be, what facilities it ought to contain and the like. I can only commend the report to the government and make the point again that it is not a project that we can afford to take our eyes off. This Assembly has to continue to monitor it on behalf of the community to make sure that we get what we want at the end of the day and that it comes at a price we can afford.

MR HIRD (12.03): Mr Speaker, with other members of the committee, I strongly urge members to read this report. As Mr Kaine has just indicated, this project is one of the major financial projects which will be undertaken by government in the territory, and it needs close scrutiny.

A matter of concern to all of us in this place is the deterioration of the Remand Centre and the urgent need for a replacement for the Remand Centre. I ask the next government, of whichever persuasion, to urgently give attention to the building of a new Remand Centre or moving the Remand Centre into a more suitable accommodation.

I would like to thank my colleagues for the report and for the way they went about the task this place gave them. This is the second parliament in which Mr Osborne and I have been involved with this matter. This has gone on for some years, and may well go on for some more years as we work out the detail of the project.

I intend to touch on only three recommendations of our report. Before I do, I would like to thank the head of corrective services, James Ryan, and his staff for their assistance. They were very forthright in assisting the committee in the task it undertook.

I would also like to thank the community panel, chaired by prominent Canberran Mr Jim Leedman. As was indicated by Mr Hargreaves, Mr Bob Allan was also a member of that panel. He had a view which he expressed before the committee at the appropriate time.

As was said by the chairman and the deputy chairman, the committee started out with probably four different opinions on how an institution such as this should function. We analysed criminal institutions right round Australia. I was impressed with the operation

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