Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2009) . . Page.. 767 ..
MR HARGREAVES: No, I cannot.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?
MR DOSZPOT: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what have you done to respond to the concerns of both the Chief Magistrate and the Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner about conditions for remandees?
MR HARGREAVES: I have not had any communication with the Chief Magistrate; so I have nothing to respond to Mr Doszpot in that regard. With respect to the matters that the human rights commissioner raised about overcrowding, I make a couple of observations. I think this is the stuff to which Mr Doszpot is going. A couple of other people have described the conditions there as inhumane; so what do we do about it? And that is the thrust of where you are heading.
The first thing I would say is: I find a bit strange talk about human rights coming from the opposition over there, talk about human rights of people and talk about the human rights commissioner’s approach to me. In the correspondence from the human rights commissioner she referred to the Human Rights Act. So I referred to the Human Rights Act. In fact, it was these people who—I think it was Mr Stefaniak, as part of the Liberal Party, who was spokesman at the time—declared that they were going to repeal the Human Rights Act. You cannot have it both ways, I am afraid. Mr Speaker, they cannot have it both ways. They are the people who are talking about the inhumane conditions and yet, in the election campaign just gone, it was Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth who said that they would take $1.1 million out of the health budget for the AMC.
We know what they are going to do about it. So now I will refer to what we are going to do about it.
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Doszpot asked a question about the BRC and Mr Hargreaves’s answer has to be direct and relevant to the question So far, he has not dealt with the question of the commissioner’s concerns at the BRC; he has waxed on about everybody else’s policy but his own.
MR HARGREAVES: I am trying to do just that. In fact, I will table a document in a second which will give more—
MR SPEAKER: One minute, Mr Hargreaves. The point of order is upheld at this point. Mr Hargreaves, can you come back specifically to the BRC.
MR HARGREAVES: That is what I am doing right now, Mr Speaker. The issues that Mr Doszpot refers to are in a letter to me from the human rights commissioner. I also referred to a letter that she did send to me on 4 December. She is away. We actually moved rather quickly to address those issues. I wish to table this letter. This is a letter to me from the Acting Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner. I present the following paper:
Copy of a letter from the Acting Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner to the Minister for Corrections, dated 4 December 2008.