Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3069 ..
MR SPEAKER: The member has time has expired. You can speak for another 10 minutes, if you wish.
MR SMYTH: I will endeavour to speak for another 10 minutes, Mr Speaker. The concept I put forward of a time-out facility is a diversion from the criminal justice process for those who have the dual diagnosis of a mental health and a drug addiction problem so that they get appropriate treatment instead of being institutionalised in the criminal reform system.
The idea was heartily pooh-poohed by the ministers involved but has the support of some of our magistrates, the mental health community and the corrections officers-from what they said in estimates. It had the support of police officers at a public forum and it has the support of the Chief Police Officer, who, when asked, simply said, "The answer is yes."
We need to look at whether Labor is committed to what it says about corrections and whether it is committed to addressing the root causes of why people go to jail. We are not seeing any action on it, and we do not see anything in the budget that tells us how they will address that as well.
There were very nice words in the lead-up to the election, and there is a very nice document, which says all the right things. But what we do not see is any action or carry-through on these commitments from those opposite because they are lazy in this regard. They do not get out and work, and they do not talk to the community about these issues.
They know the community is vitally interested in where the remand centre and prison will go, but they are not talking to it. They are going to deliver us a solution, and it is their solution only. It is totally unlike the process that we undertook of having the sites open for discussion and for input from the community. If we are going to make this work, the community needs to be involved and must have ownership of the criminal rehabilitation system-otherwise our prisoners will continue to be shunned, or, as is currently the case, exiled to New South Wales.
As you go through the Labor Party document and their responses to the questions on notice, you find cause for concern. I do not think there is any commitment to setting up a state-of-the-art prison. I do not believe there is any commitment to early intervention to prevent people from going to jail or to addressing the root causes of crime. I do not believe there is any commitment to getting community opinion on where these facilities go, because until now the community has been well and truly locked out of the entire process. I do not believe there is any commitment by those opposite to carry through the construction of a prison in the ACT.
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (4.49): There are just a couple of points I will respond to-I do not wish to delay the Assembly unduly.
As we proceed through this debate, from time to time we need small reality checks. Mr Stefaniak, the Attorney before me, has suddenly become the major advocate in the ACT for a new Supreme Court. Mr Stefaniak, just answer this simple question: how