Page 3938 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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Mental health is important in our community. We are talking about some of those people in our community who are the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged. The government’s record is clear. We will continue with that record, we will continue to honour our commitment to addressing mental health problems in our community, and we will do it in collaboration with carers and consumers.

Corrective services

MR STEFANIAK: My question is directed to the minister for corrective services. Yesterday the New South Wales government confirmed its plans to build a 500-bed prison on the south coast of New South Wales near Kiama, which is due for completion in 2010. In developing your costings for the Alexander Maconachie Centre, what proportion of prisoners do you estimate will come from New South Wales? How much funding do you expect to receive from the New South Wales government to keep these prisoners?

MR STANHOPE: I do not recall the funding equations, the cost benefit, the details of it or any issues around the reliance that was made on prisoners from New South Wales potentially being contained within the Alexander Maconachie Centre. I will take the question on notice and provide the member with what information I can glean on those specific issues.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Has the government entered into an agreement with the New South Wales government about how many prisoners from that state will be kept in the Alexander Maconachie Centre? If not, is it in the process of negotiating such an agreement?

MR STANHOPE: No, we have not entered into such an agreement. I am not aware of any negotiations. I will take advice from the department on that as well. I will get back to Mr Stefaniak.


MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. I note the significant investment in government school infrastructure that the ACT government committed to in the last budget. Damage is obviously always a constant threat to this infrastructure. Could you inform the Assembly of the measures the government is taking to deal with this danger?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for her question. She is quite right: the government each year makes a significant investment in the maintenance of our school infrastructure, that is our 96 government schools and 88 preschools. Last year’s budget figures show that capital upgrades cost around $11 million, with a total capital expenditure of just over $18 million, for what is a very significant asset base for the ACT government. The repairs and maintenance budget alone for this infrastructure is around $5 million a year.

In response to vandalism of government schools, security measures put in place to combat property damage and theft are costing around $2 million every year; that is to

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