Page 246 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 February 2010

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(ix) that there have been breaches of the Corrections Management (Email / Internet for Prisoners) Policy 2009; and

(x) that the prison is costing ACT taxpayers $504 per prisoner per day;

(c) the unanimous findings of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety in Report 3, Inquiry into the delay in the commencement of operations at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, including the finding that “not all the delays to the commencement of the operations of the AMC were due to the security system as the Attorney-General has contended”; and

(d) that despite the prison being almost half empty and NSW experiencing capacity issues with its gaols, the Minister is yet to start discussions with NSW about taking NSW prisoners at the AMC; and

(2) calls on the ACT government to:

(a) commence discussions with the NSW government with a view to receiving NSW prisoners; and

(b) commission an independent review of the prison on completion of one year of operations.

Before I move to the corrections motion, I would like to reflect on what has just occurred here. If we are going to talk about the failures of Mr Corbell, I think it is a timely moment for us to be moving to the corrections portfolio which is littered with failure, having observed what all of us in this place have just seen. And that is how poorly Mr Corbell managed what was, I think, a fairly straightforward issue.

It is out of sheer exasperation that I have brought before the house today this motion on the incompetence shown by Simon Corbell, who is the minister most responsible. After his performance before, but, more importantly, after his inept attack on the tripartisan JACS committee yesterday, it is important that we highlight the utter failure of this government’s management of corrections throughout the last 18 or 20 months.

What became apparent through the course of 2008-09 and the start of this year, through the media and through the committee inquiry, Madam Deputy Speaker—and indeed it was confirmed by the unanimous report of the JACS committee upon which you sat—is that the man responsible, culpable and accountable for the mismanagement of the AMC, who caused so many of the problems that we saw with corrections—in particular, the overcrowding and continued exacerbated human rights breaches at the Belconnen Remand Centre—is Simon Corbell.

The litany of failures is extensive, but we have to start somewhere; so let us start with the delays at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. It was meant to open in mid-2007. And we all remember Simon Corbell hosting an official opening on 11 September 2008. Noting that we went into the caretaker period on 12 September, this was literally on the eve of the ACT election. But prisoners did not arrive until 31 March 2009.

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