Page 205 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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this community who have, through their behaviour and actions, killed Canberrans, maimed Canberrans, raped Canberrans, and we are bringing them back to the ACT as a reflection of the commitment by us to accept full responsibility for those in our community who have transgressed and who have been sentenced to imprisonment. To suggest that we should take that responsibility in a light-hearted or flippant way, that we should actually crash through without a major commissioning, without ensuring that our training is absolute and complete, really is quite remarkable.

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question was: why was the facility opened when it was not ready? The Chief Minister is going on at great length about the commissioning process which starts when the facility is ready to be opened. My question was: why did you open it before it was ready to be commissioned?

MR STANHOPE: We can clean up this misunderstanding which has now occupied three questions from the opposition. I will clean it up quite simply. The commissioning starts when the construction finishes. The construction has finished. The buildings, the complex, the facility are capable of being opened. Having been opened, the commissioning begins. The commissioning process allows—

Mrs Dunne: Six months to commission?

MR STANHOPE: I think you are all aware of the issues in relation to the security system and the fact that as a result—

Mrs Dunne: It was not ready but you opened it.

MR STANHOPE: There was actually work being undertaken on security systems. And why not? They were working there the day we visited. Chubb were there working, refining the systems. They understood, we understood and the general understanding was that the work would be completed consistent with the contract. It has not been. As a result of the foresight and the good management of JACS officials, there were default clauses built into the contracts with Chubb, and all the costs of the delay have been met by Chubb.

Mr Hanson: Why is the money in the appropriation bill?

MR STANHOPE: Because of the delay. We have a contract with New South Wales. I think the other great mystery that has occupied the minds of members of the opposition is that, when the contract with New South Wales is terminated as a result of the bringing home of ACT prisoners to the ACT—the contract will be terminated and no more payments will be made to New South Wales—those payments will be payments made directly to the management of Alexander Maconochie.

In the context of the default and the extra costs which the ACT is incurring as a result of the failure by contractors to finalise, consistent with contract dates and details, issues like security, we will be pursuing those costs against the contractors that actually have not satisfied their contractual obligations. We are covering a cost, a cost owing to New South Wales as a result of the extension of a contract which we did not expect to have to extend, and we will pursue full recovery of those costs in due course against the contractors that have led to the delay in our capacity to house offenders within Alexander Maconochie and, indeed, Bimberi, which is a different situation.

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