Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2717 ..
MR SMYTH (5.17): Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to make the simple point that all remandees are in fact maximum security prisoners whether they are judged dangerous or not, and they are kept in maximum security circumstances. Periodic detainees are in periodic detention because a judgment has been made that they are not to be held in jail and they are capable of being released into society, serving their time on the weekends.
I think amendment 4 is a desirable outcome, and it will have our support. The government has made its intention clear that it is appropriate that any overflow of people from the Belconnen Remand Centre should go to Symonston. I think, in fact, this is an indication of their lack of commitment to building a prison and a remand centre. We have yet to hear about a choice of sites, we are yet to see the guidelines and the selection criteria for both of those projects, and we are yet to see the guidelines for the removal of prisoners from the BRC and sending them to the Symonston facility.
I do not think this is the appropriate answer. I can understand the need to make the PDC also a remand centre. It is something they are spending a lot money on and we should take advantage of it. But I do not believe that it is appropriate to send somebody turning up for periodic detention across to the remand centre. As Ms Dundas pointed out, long-term remandees should have some stability and shouldn't be shunted from cell to cell. But there must be a blend that will in the short term enable some remandees to be allocated to the BRC rather than to the Symonston facility, allowing periodic detainees to remain together. And that is the point-periodic detainees should not be held in maximum security facilities.
Proposed new part 9A agreed to.
Clauses 35 to 54, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
Proposed new part 10A.
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (5.19): I move amendment No 5 circulated in my name, which inserts new part 10A [see schedule 1 at page 2721]. Mr Deputy Speaker, as we have just had effectively a cognate debate on this, I don't feel the need to say anything else.
MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (5.19): Mr Deputy Speaker, I will just make, very briefly, a couple of points. I think the people have got the message that in fact we need flexibility and we are not really going to be in the situation in the longer term of periodic detainees ending up at Belconnen.
Mr Smyth made the point that periodic detainees should not be in maximum security. Although something has a maximum security facility, you don't have to lock all the locks and you can actually tone it down. But you have to have it because you can't wind up a periodic detention centre site. We do need that facility; we need that facility chronically.
Mr Smyth: What things would you leave out? What would you leave unlocked?
MR QUINLAN: You understand the point, I think, that in fact you could put people in maximum security-a facility capable of maximum security, incarceration-without necessarily having all of the facilities there imposed upon them, and if you don't get that you are just being obtuse.