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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3871 ..

MR SPEAKER: Direct your comments through the chair.

MR HUMPHRIES: I would be very surprised if that is what the protocol that has been tabled here today says. I look forward to seeing what it does say, Mr Speaker.

But the fact is that this government has been inconsistent. It has been unable to give a clear indication of what it is going to do at Symonston. This is because the minister hasn't been particularly interested in the issue. He has not really checked or been careful about what he has to say. He doesn't actually know what the government's position is because he hasn't thought it through.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services) (6.07): I rise to enter the debate on one issue, and that is the question of who first said we need a prison.

MR SPEAKER: Well you won't be doing it in this debate because that is not relevant, and if you persist with it you will be ordered to sit down.

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I know that. I have listened to what you have had to say. However, in a future debate I will contest to some degree what Mr Humphries has been claiming. I just need to give notice of my intention and I thank you for your tolerance.

MR SMYTH (6.08), in reply: I look forward to reading about it in the Bill Wood memoirs. Mr Speaker, in closing the debate, I would like to make a couple of short points. I note what Mr Quinlan said about point (4) of my motion, which reads:

no protocol has, at this time, been issued;

Perhaps I should have tabled this; I would apologise to Mr Quinlan for that.

Secondly, Mr Quinlan suddenly raised the question of where did our great concern about corrections issues come from? We started the process many years ago. The justice committee of the previous Assembly travelled many miles, visited many cities and after many months came up with an extensive report. There is the Rengain report on a remand centre and a prison. Also, the site selection process had been undertaken. Really, when the term of the last government finished, the project was ready to go. So I would like to correct what was said about that matter.

I would simply close the debate by saying thank you to the minister for tabling the document.

Question resolved in the negative.


Motion (by Mr Wood ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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