Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3909 ..
MR QUINLAN: Of course not, Mr Humphries. We built it so that we could throw $30 million up against the wall and do nothing about the chronic problem which existed in the Belconnen Remand Centre. Take that as supposedly ironic.
Mr Humphries: Sarcastic too.
MR QUINLAN: Sarcastic too. It has got to the point of farce. One moment the opposition is jumping up and down saying, "You can only send low-risk prisoners there. We want only low-risk prisoners to go there." Otherwise, you fall back on something that was in the Southside Chronicle, which contained a statement by Mr Smyth that we should continue to send our remandees interstate.
We have built the thing. We have to put it in place. It needs to be commissioned. We need to shake it out. It is too hard, too difficult. The prisoners we are going to send there are too low a risk now. Yesterday when I tabled the protocol, I said it was a draft protocol. This thing is to be commissioned. We will make the bar high.
Mr Humphries: On the ceiling, on the roof.
MR QUINLAN: I wrote the whole thing personally and made it that high. With practical experience, we will work it out. I said in estimates to whoever was listening that we will try to classify from the highest risk to the lowest and then work back. We will make sure we honour the commitment to send the lower risk people, which was the emphasis described ad nauseam to you people, but we found the word "low" in the Southside Chronicle in August. We will work back.
I am very happy, Mr Humphries, that it is difficult to send prisoners there, because that ensures that the people working at the coalface have made sure that there is a process to ensure that the lower risk people, as assessed at Belconnen, go there. If we have to claw back and lower that bar, then we will lower it, but we will lower it from a decent starting point. That protocol is a decent starting point.
MR HUMPHRIES: With reference, Minister, to your decent starting point, can you explain how exclusive a club Symonston will be by telling us the last time the ACT sent anyone into remand for shoplifting, defamation or littering?
MR QUINLAN: No, I cannot, but it just goes to show how thorough our people are. They have all bases covered.
MS GALLAGHER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Is the minister aware of an unfortunate recent trend for manufacturers of illicit drugs to source amphetamine from legally available over-the-counter medicines? What action is the government taking to combat this problem?
MR STANHOPE: Unfortunately, in recent years all states and territories have been targeted by organised crime rings using shoppers-both male and female, young and old-to buy pseudoephedrine products manufactured for the relief, essentially, of hay fever and coughs and colds for conversion into illicit amphetamines. A packet of the