Page 614 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 9 March 2011

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Yet again we have got Ms Bresnan in here today saying, “I don’t want to deal with this”, but there was a little chink here. There is at last a little chink because she did say, and it was interesting to hear it reported on the ABC later in the day, and we will hold her to this, that perhaps some time in the future when the two Hamburger reports and a whole lot of other reports come down, we will have to hold Mr Corbell accountable at that stage.

So watch this space, because it is without a doubt that this festering mess which has been created by Simon Corbell will surface again in this place, and we will hold Ms Bresnan to account for her commitment that in the future we will have to work very hard at dealing with Mr Corbell’s incompetence. Really what she was saying today was that, yes, Mr Corbell is an incompetent minister, is an incompetent corrections minister, but that somewhere along the line it will become too difficult even for the Greens and that they will have to bring him to book.

Let us look at this minister’s litany. He became the minister for corrections and he spent a whole lot of time talking about the human rights compliance of the prison that he was going to bring forward and then we had the cutting back of the size of the prison, then we had the fake opening, then we had this six-month interregnum where prisoners were not being sent to New South Wales because New South Wales either could not or would not take them. There was a stack up of people at the Belconnen Remand Centre. We had overflow remand centres in every nook and cranny across Canberra. We had severe derogations of people’s human rights as a result of that. We had the roof incident that resulted in this minister being censured—no, not censured; grave concern being expressed in this place about this minister.

Mr Hanson: Admonished or—

MRS DUNNE: There were some weaselly words that the Greens insisted on, but not censure, because Mr Corbell came out and said that the detainees who got on the roof were guilty of a range of offences. Interestingly enough, just this week it has been revealed that when the matter went to court, as it has gone to court, they were not found guilty of the offences that Mr Corbell went on the radio and said that they were guilty of—and, just to make perfectly sure, went out again and fronted the TV camera to repeat it. This is the quality of the man who also happens to be the Attorney-General. His performance as corrections minister has been a disgrace.

That was a pretty low point, or I thought that was a pretty low point, but it has gone downhill from there. It took six months after the opening, the fake opening, to get prisoners in there and it was finally done because the responsibility for corrections was taken away from Simon Corbell and given to somebody else who seems to have rolled up his sleeves to some extent and actually got prisoners in there. When we say “a now disgraced minister” and Mr Hargreaves looks like a better corrections minister than Simon Corbell, it does say something about the calibre of ministers in the Stanhope government.

Then of course we had a cost blow-out from what it was originally. They cut back the size of the prison to keep it within the budget because Simon Corbell has such a shocking record of doing things on time and on budget. So he cut back the scope so he

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