Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3869 ..
MR SPEAKER: If you had looked at point (1) of the motion, Mr Humphries-if you had taken the time to read it-you would have seen that it talks about what security level of remandees are in the system.
MR HUMPHRIES: I am not talking about the security; I am talking about whether they are high risk or low risk, which, as the minister has been quick to point out on many occasions, is a different thing to whether they are maximum security or not.
MR SPEAKER: You just go for your life and I will measure whether or not it is relevant.
MR HUMPHRIES: I will be looking forward to that. Mr Speaker, the fact is that Labor has backflipped on several occasions on the question of whether only low-risk prisoners would be housed at the Symonston remand centre, and in doing so I think it has misled residents at those suburbs close to Symonston; and it has incurred a very large amount of public expenditure, in many respects on false pretences. People on a number of occasions were assured, publicly, by this government and by this minister-
MR SPEAKER: That's relevant.
MR HUMPHRIES: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I am very pleased to hear that. They were assured on a number of occasions that there would be a propensity, a tendency, a desire by the government to commit low-risk prisoners to that site. (Extension of time granted.)
On 9 April this year Mr Quinlan told the house that there would be a protocol, which we have now seen, that would ensure that "low-risk prisoners go there". Those are his very words from Hansard on 9 April. I don't have the page number but if you doubt what you said I am sure I could find it for you.
I think statements like that create a fairly reasonable expectation on people's part that we would have only low-risk prisoners at that site or that they would be the majority of prisoners going to that site; that you would see-
Mr Quinlan: No, no. I said low-risk prisoners go there. If you want to be semantic-
MR HUMPHRIES: You might argue that there is a little bit of doubt about it, but I think most people who heard that remark would assume that we are talking about people serving time for fine default, people remanded for relatively less serious crime, maybe fraud or something like that-people who are not likely to constitute a high risk.
But when I put to the minister in the course of the Estimates Committee hearings that he said that, he took a very different view. What he said quite vehemently was: "No, the government had always made it clear that we could have high-risk prisoners at that facility." Mr Speaker, I don't think it matters particularly what the minister wants to say about that matter as long as he is prepared to be consistent about it and let the residents of Narrabundah and Red Hill and the other suburbs nearby know what is going on.
Mr Quinlan put out a press release in which he said, "Only those remandees will be placed there who meet strict assessment criteria as being suitable for placement in this facility. They will discover what those criteria are." Mr Quinlan is reported in the