Page 742 - Week 02 - Thursday, 10 March 2011

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MR BARR: Indeed, and I will be bringing forward, as I think should be a routine process each year in the Assembly, a slab bill that will deal with minor and technical amendments to the Planning and Development Act. I think the Chief Minister foreshadowed such a bill in the statement on the government’s legislation program for this session.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—detainees

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, have there been any occasions in 2011 in which detainees at Bimberi Youth Justice Centre have escaped onto the roof of the facility? If so, on how many occasions, when did they occur and how many detainees were involved?

MS BURCH: I am aware of a number of occasions. I am aware of two occasions when youth accessed the roof line. This is something that I thought was rectified. I thought we had put some rectifications into a known area where before there was an access point. It seems that the youth have used other means and methods and access points. I have asked the department to do a feasibility study on securing all roof lines out at Bimberi.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, we were told in estimates hearings in 2010 that energised security wiring would be installed to prevent access by detainees to the roof. Has this wiring been installed and, if so, why is it ineffectual?

MS BURCH: The energised wiring has been installed to a particular point in the roof where it was a known and used access point. The most recent access points were a different site, which is why I have asked the department to look at the feasibility of securing all roofline areas.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what other changes have you made to security at Bimberi in general to prevent detainees gaining access to prohibited areas, including roofs and other areas within the facility?

MS BURCH: There have been a number of measures in regard to the incident in early February which I am still waiting for the finalised reports about. We have made rectifications to known weak points in the areas, as we have also in regard to the roof lines. In the most recent access to the roof, the young person was under escort of two guards, two youth workers, and the incident still occurred. There are some unfortunate matters that will always occur perhaps in an environment such as that. But as far as the roof goes, that is why I have asked, as I keep on saying, for a full feasibility study to secure the whole, entire, roof line.

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