Page 1078 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 16 March 2005
We are committed to the Human Rights Act and we are committed to all those human rights that are protected through Australia’s first bill of rights. That will have implications for how we design and construct this particular prison. Of course, that will be a particular challenge for Codd Stenders and May Russell in being required now to look at the design and design features of this prison from that perspective.
That will be relevant to our determination to deal with different classifications or classes of detainee in a way that we believe is best suited to a commitment to rehabilitation; it will meet our commitment to human rights and will ensure that this is a prison that deals in a whole way in relation to the needs of each of the people detained there. For instance, in our commitment to women it has already been announced that, at this stage, we do not anticipate the construction of any cells for women. It is our determination to adopt a whole new approach to the detention of women which will not involve their incarceration in cell blocks but rather essentially in houses which will be part of the campus style we are developing at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can the attorney say if the opposition spokesman was correct in suggesting that the government would not be able to fund the centre as originally planned?
MR STANHOPE: Yes. I am able to say that the shadow attorney was certainly wrong, I think almost deliberately maliciously wrong, in the claims he made last week. It is a fact that the ACT government has always insisted that this project had been costed at $110 million in March 2003—that is part of the public record.
Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. The Chief Minister has just said that it is a fact and is part of the record. Can he point to the record as to where he has used—
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order; resume your seat.
Mr Smyth: He runs the risk of misleading the Assembly if he cannot do that.
MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat; there is no point of order.
MR STANHOPE: We in cabinet agreed to this project and agreed to fund it—an agreement that, of course, the previous government refused to make, as it refused to fund so much of the important infrastructure that has been lacking within the ACT. My government agreed to support the construction of a prison for the ACT at a cost of $110 million, expressed as $110 million, valued as of March 2003. In that decision there was also allowance made for GST. GST was not included within the $110 million; that was an explicit part of the decision.
Mr Stefaniak: Three million bucks extra.
MR STANHOPE: There was an allowance of $3 million made. That was part of the decision. Also as part of the decision, which has been previously announced and is part of the public record, there was an acknowledgment that the normal escalation would