Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4746 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Let's keep going; let's go to the prison. How is the prison going to work, Mr Speaker? This is the bottler. This is the Jon Stanhope special. This is how you fool people and expect they will believe you next time. Here it is: Labor's action plan for ACT Corrections. It goes like this:
Labor believes that work must be concluded on prison programs before we decide on the prison design and we must decide on design before we decide on site.
What have we done? Nothing. We have gone off on this futile search for a site, hither and thither and yon, through valleys and over hill and dale. But can we find one? No. Can we make a decision? No. Where are we going to build it? On land we do not even own. That is it. That is our corrections policy. We will build a prison on land we do not even own. What a fabulous prison this will be.
So here it goes. "Labor believes that work must be concluded on prison programs before we decide on the prison design". Where are the programs? Two years into the term of the Labor government and there are no programs whatsoever.
MR SPEAKER: Order, members! There are too many conversations going on. Mr Smyth has the floor.
MR SMYTH: There has been no attempt by the minister for corrections to do any work on his portfolio at all. As to the next point-we must decide on the prison design before we decide on the site-where is the design? You are about to announce a site; you must have a design. Jon Stanhope keeps his word. It is in the Labor book. It is in the ACT Labor policy on corrections.
Table the design, minister for corrections. Perhaps we will have a motion next week asking the minister to table the design because nobody has seen the design. The design is not out there for public comment. You have got no programs, you have got no design and you have got no site. You are going to build a prison on a block of land you do not own, so desperate were you for relevance in the corrections debate.
Appropriate sentencing is one part of the equation. We are the only party to present all parts of the equation in this place. We have agreed that prevention is better than cure, and in the second last budget we delivered we had early intervention programs to break the cycle of crime. What have we got from these people? Nothing.
MR SPEAKER: Order, members! There are too many conversations going on.
MR SMYTH: In terms of policing, we put more money into policing, we purchased more equipment for police officers, we freed police officers from the onerous duty of being on desks to get them out on the street. The only action the minister for police has taken is to pension off the nags. Get rid of the horses; we do not want them. What is the justification for getting rid of the mounted police? They have done nothing for the last 18 months. Why have they done nothing for the last 18 months? They have been on agistment in Hall. Of course they are not going to break the cycle of crime when they are at Hall.