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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3867 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: No, it is true. We argued that case and you said there were a lot of priorities-you go back and check, Mr Wood-on the Labor Party's agenda apart from the replacement of the remand centre. We also said that not only was the remand centre out of date but also we needed to think about an ACT prison. Mr Wood, check the record. People like Mr Connolly, who was the corrections minister at the time, said that the ACT doesn't need a prison, that it is not an issue and that it is perfectly okay to send prisoners off to New South Wales.

Mr Wood: I think you might have said that, too, at some early stage.

MR HUMPHRIES: Not since I became the corrections spokesman for the Liberal Party.

Mr Wood: That may be.

MR HUMPHRIES: Our position has been like that for well over a decade now. We have been arguing the case publicly for the ACT to take responsibility for its own sentenced prisoners and we link that debate with the need to have a new remand centre. There was never going to be a new remand centre in this territory unless we also looked at and thought about the conjunction between that and a prison. Indeed, Mr Speaker, building a case for that was the task of the former Liberal government.

MR SPEAKER: Relevance, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: We are talking about the remand centre, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: It seems to me you are talking more about-

MR HUMPHRIES: At that time we had a case being made for a new remand centre with a prison, and that case continues today.

Mr Speaker, no one could argue, looking objectively at the evidence, that over the last six or seven years the Liberal government was idle on the question of corrections. Arguably, we elevated the question of correctional policy in this territory to a level higher than it had ever been. Whereas before there was a smug complacency about the capacity to make do with the remand centre and to keep sending our sentenced prisoners to New South Wales-

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, I have to press the issue of relevance. You have given us a potted history of the various policies on the issue, but I am yet to hear you touch on any of the aspects of the motion which is before the house.

MR HUMPHRIES: Can I put to you, Mr Speaker, that in a number of questions in the course of the last few days, members have meandered over history. This happened again this afternoon when the Chief Minister spoke about what had happened under the former Liberal government, and this had nothing to do with the question which he had been asked. In spite of points of order, you accepted that he was being relevant.

MR SPEAKER: You can put whatever you like to me, Mr Humphries, but, when it comes to motions before the house, you have got to remain relevant, and that is what I am telling you to do.

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