Page 3856 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 19 October 2005

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consultation with the people of west Belconnen over the idea of spending $43 million on building the best school in west Belconnen, the best school in Canberra, for the students of west Belconnen. The government has not walked away from the view that this proposal will be good for students of the territory for many years ahead. The government’s position is clear and we have not walked away from it.

It is my sincere hope that we will be opening a school in west Belconnen for the start of the 2009 academic year. There is no secret about that. That is the government’s position. That is the proposal we are consulting on. We are in the middle of a six-month consultation period in which we are taking suggestions from the community, input from the community, in accordance with the requirements of the act and we will be making an announcement about that at the appropriate time.

MRS BURKE: I have a brief supplementary question. Minister, is the date in your diary?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not think that I need to add anything to that. The question is absolutely ridiculous.

Corrective services—prison project

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Attorney-General and minister for corrections. Minister, you would be aware that the original budget for the ACT prison was $110 million in March 2003 dollars and that, at the latest count—according to the 2005 budget papers—this cost has already increased to $128 million. Given that New South Wales intends to build another prison for 500-plus prisoners, will the proposed extra New South Wales prison affect the viability of the ACT prison?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Stefaniak for his continuing interest in the Alexander Maconochie Centre project. I understand that Mr Stefaniak’s major concern with the Alexander Maconochie Centre is that it will not contain a gallows. Knowing, as we all do, Mr Stefaniak’s continuing fondness for and support of the death penalty, I would imagine that Mr Stefaniak’s concern perhaps goes to that, as well as to other issues, but we will not be providing a facility for executing people.

MR STEFANIAK: What is happening in New South Wales?

MR STANHOPE: They are not going to execute prisoners either, Bill. It is worth reflecting, as we talk on the subject of—

Mr Smyth: Standing order 118 (b) does not allow debate; he must answer the question.

MR SPEAKER: The minister is answering the question.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Stefaniak asked about corrections. We all know that Mr Stefaniak continues to support the reintroduction of the death penalty in Australia. I think that, in any discussion around corrections and a corrections facility for the ACT, it is relevant to refer to the fact that Mr Stefaniak is a continuing advocate of the reinstatement of the death penalty to the ACT and to Australia. I am making the point that, in the planning

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