Page 284 - Week 01 - Thursday, 17 February 2011

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and Minister for Health is unable to be present in question time today. She is representing the territory at a health ministers ministerial council meeting in Tasmania. But I stand ready to assist if I am able in relation to issues that might have been directed to Ms Gallagher.

Questions without notice

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—safety

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, we have been advised that personal duress alarms were issued to certain staff and contract workers only after the assault incident on the MSS guard that occurred on 5 February 2011. We have also been told that some of those workers had been working at Bimberi for several weeks without the benefit of that vital piece of personal security and safety equipment. Minister, is it the case that some workers, whether staff or contract, had been working at Bimberi for a period of time before they were issued with personal duress alarms? If yes, why?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Seselja for his question. I am not aware of the detail of that. It is something that I have raised with the department.

Mr Hanson: Surprise, surprise!

MS BURCH: Well, I would assume that staff out there have been issued with the tools and equipment required for them to do their duty. So that is something—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, thank you, members.

Mr Coe: It’s a big assumption.

MS BURCH: I do not think it is an unreasonable assumption, in all fairness. But it is something that I have raised with management out there, and it is something that will form part of quite a comprehensive, very detailed review that is currently being undertaken.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, before we continue, I have indicated this week that I do not find it acceptable for a minister to have five or six people shouting at her at once. A number of members have been warned this week. Those warnings are carrying over. I expect a level of ability to hear the minister during question time.

A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Thanks, Mr Speaker. Minister, is it the case, in fact, that personal duress alarms are not issued to MSS guards? If this is the case, why?

MS BURCH: That is a question I will be asking management, and I will want a very detailed explanation about that.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker?

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