Page 2270 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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Corrective services—governance

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Chief Minister. I refer, Chief Minister, to the list of ACT government priorities for 2011-12 which you outlined yesterday, and tabled. You stated that one of the priorities was to improve the governance of corrective services, including Bimberi. Chief Minister, what are the failures of governance at Bimberi that you need to improve, and who has been responsible for those failures?

MS GALLAGHER: The politics of negativity continue from those opposite. The priorities I outlined for the community yesterday included some work that we would like to see done, and that is indeed being done, in the Alexander Maconochie Centre and Bimberi. These are about improving systems and building on systems that we already have in place. I do not think, having been in opposition for the length of time that those opposite have, that they have any understanding about delivering a correctional service for a vulnerable population such as the youngest members of our community, at Bimberi, and the disadvantaged populations that we see at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. Nor do they understand the decision of this government to implement a human rights agenda and make that integral to the services delivered at Alexander Maconochie Centre and Bimberi.

I think the fact that we have been very open and clear with the reviews that have been done into Alexander Maconochie Centre and Bimberi shows the importance that this government place on not accepting that we cannot always improve on the services that we deliver to communities, even if they are living inside the AMC or at Bimberi. That is the commitment that this government have—to be transparent, to be open, to have reviews, to respond to those reviews, to make those reviews public, to make the government’s response to those reviews public, and then to work very hard to improve the services, with the very clear focus of improving the lives of the people who have to live at Bimberi and the AMC. So that is a priority.

We have the Hamburger review that has been released. The Attorney-General has established a task force for implementation of that review. There are numbers of pieces of work going on at Bimberi around how to improve, and on some of the challenges that we have got at Bimberi, including trying to keep kids out of Bimberi in the first place. All of that work is underway, Mrs Dunne, and we look forward to continuing working with members of the Assembly—

Mr Seselja: So was it just an empty statement?

MS GALLAGHER: No, it is not an empty statement.

Mr Seselja: It sounds like an empty statement if you can’t give it—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. This is not a discussion, Mr Seselja.

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