Page 2942 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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real-time, around-the-clock monitoring of the CCTV network and a progress report on the value of outstanding fines owed to the territory and what has been done to improve the rate of collection.

The members of the committee, through a number of their inquiries, have expressed concern about the level of especially detoxification services available at ACT correctional facilities. The members, when they visited the AMC before it opened, raised concerns about the level of detoxification services. We have asked that ACT Corrective Services and ACT Health keep the committee briefed on the provision of detox services at ACT correctional facilities.

In relation to reporting in relation to the Emergency Services Agency, we thought that there was very little said about one of the great good news stories of the ACT, the Snowy Hydro SouthCare helicopter. It was not possible for members of the public to find out about the number of missions. We have recommended that there be more reporting about the Snowy Hydro SouthCare helicopter in future reports.

Members of the committee expressed concerns about the vulnerability of low income families in relation to increasing fees for water and electricity. There are recommendations for the government to look at ways of establishing perhaps a rebate system for families and individuals who are adversely affected by high water pricing.

There was considerable discussion about the case management computer system for the Human Rights Commission. It has been problematic for the commission and we have asked for regular updates until that system is installed and operating effectively. There was discussion with the Human Rights Commission about proposed amendments to the Discrimination Act which might include things like racial harassment and religious vilification. We have recommended to the Attorney-General that he conduct thorough consultation about any proposed amendments before that legislation is brought forward.

In hearings with the Public Advocate, the Public Advocate spoke about her work in providing an analysis of service provision for people discharged from the Psychiatric Services Unit, which is important work. It was our view that the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services should be kept abreast of that; we have recommended that the Public Advocate take that matter up with that committee.

In dealing with the Public Advocate and the Public Trustee, we have also recommended that we look at the feasibility of establishing a register of enduring powers of attorney in the ACT.

We were concerned about the resources of the Director of Public Prosecutions. They have been improved in the last budget, but we were concerned that they were providing free services to a range of agencies, especially the AFP, which should have been paid for. We have asked the attorney to raise with the Director of Public Prosecutions the possibility of developing fee-for-service proposals for the delivery to the AFP of services in relation to prosecution procedures. We understand that it is important that the police be trained well in prosecution procedures, but we think that this is something that the police should be able to pay for rather than the DPP paying for it free of charge.

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