Page 5321 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009
MR SPEAKER: Before I take the next question without notice, I would like to take the opportunity to welcome our guests from the University of the Third Age who are in the Assembly today and who are joining us for question time. Welcome to question time. It is quite an event.
Questions without notice
Alexander Maconochie Centre—review
MS BRESNAN: My question is to the minister for corrections and is in regard to the community sector’s involvement in the one-year review of the AMC. Minister, I understand the previous community reference group has been disbanded and it will be at least a year until a new group is in place. Given this, how is the ACT government consulting with key members of the community sector about the form of the AMC one-year review?
MR CORBELL: I am still coming fully to grips with some elements of the corrective services portfolio since I was appointed last week. This review, I am aware, is ongoing and I can advise the member that I anticipate that all of the community service providers who provide services to ACT Corrective Services will be consulted and their views sought in relation to the operation of the facility. Indeed, that is an ongoing process anyway, from my perspective and from Corrective Services’ perspective. We value the input of our community sector partners, those non-government bodies that provide services to Corrective Services, and I would expect and indeed I am confident that there will be opportunities for those groups to provide feedback to the corrective services department, to the justice department, as part of that work.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, is the government looking to take on recommendations from the ACTCOSS Corrections Coalition and examine key health statistics in the one-year review?
MR CORBELL: Corrections health, of course, is the responsibility of the Minister for Health, so in some respects it is more appropriate that I direct that question to her. However, I can say that both I and the Minister for Health are taking a close interest in health issues at the prison.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?
MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker. With regard to reviews at the AMC, can the minister advise us on the status of the review of the needle and syringe program? Can the minister advise the Assembly, given the confusion around the opening date of the AMC, when that review will be tabled?
MS GALLAGHER: I can partly answer that because I have responsibility for the review of the needle and syringe program, or whether or not we proceed with the needle and syringe program. The government committed to having a review based on