Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 30 June 2005) . . Page.. 2589 ..
prison and we will put it into the recurrent hospital funding. Of course, after the first year: woof, you are gone. Where, I ask, were they going to find the $110 million recurrent from year two onwards? No answer to that; no answer there. The same thing applies to their solutions now. In fact, it is a raging joke.
I am particularly proud of the budget for disability services that I have been able to wangle out of the Treasurer and out of the cabinet. I urge the Assembly to pass the Treasurer’s budget with acclamation.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.17—Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, $70,935,000 (net cost of outputs) and $12,950,000 (capital injection), totalling $83,885,000.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (6.06): I would like to raise a number of issues in relation to this budget area, a number of which were discussed yesterday, in fact. I will try not to go over too much of what was said yesterday or repeat too much of that, but I will emphasise some of the points.
Obviously, one of the things that came out, as has been highlighted in this place since, was the breaches of the Human Rights Act at Quamby, in particular subsection 19 (2) of the Human Rights Act. What that deals with is mixing remandees with prisoners or detainees who have been convicted of offences. The reason that it is a good idea not to mix those is the obvious dangers. Obviously someone who is a remandee may not be guilty of the crime that they have been charged with and to be mixing them in the general population, including people who in some cases have been convicted of fairly serious offences, is a concern. That is why we raised it during the estimates process and that is why we have highlighted it. I note the minister’s response that something was going to be done about it. I personally welcome that.
The other issue of concern in that area is mixing adults with children. It has been pointed out that these adults are only 18, but when the youngest detainees in Quamby can be as young as about 12—I think we heard that during the estimates process—that is obviously a bit of a concern in terms of safety issues for those very young detainees. Likewise, mixing male and female detainees is an issue of concern, I think, to all Canberrans. I think the sooner that some of the issues at Quamby are addressed, the better.
In discussions yesterday Minister Gallagher said that by criticising her on some of these issues I am suggesting that nothing is being done on Quamby. That is not true at all. In fact, I have never said anything of the sort. It is our role as the opposition to find areas where the government is not doing its job properly, areas of concern, areas of administration that are not being done properly. That is not to say that nothing is being done in this area. We acknowledge that some good work is occurring. We welcome that, but I think it was quite wrong for the minister to suggest that that is what I said. I challenge her to point to a release or a statement in public where I have said that.
To restate some of the concerns that we had coming out of the estimates committee: apart from the breaches to the Humans Rights Act, some of it was to do with the response to the standing committee and the recommendation of the setting up of