Page 2357 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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Finding 15 was:

That the lack of continuity and experience in the AMC leadership team during the first 12 months of operation … created a potential risk to the safety, security and efficient operation of the centre given the significant number of new inexperienced staff …

Finding 16 was:

That on 31st May 2010 ACT Corrective Services arranged with another jurisdiction—

that is, New South Wales—

to second a highly experienced officer—

that is, Mr Doug Buchanan—

to fulfil the role of Superintendent. Such an arrangement provides the opportunity for continuity of appropriately experienced leadership in the role. There is evidence that he is mentoring the AMC leadership team and leading by example in his interactions with staff and detainees. Feedback from some external stakeholders is that the Superintendent is having a positive impact on AMC operations …

Indeed, in the lead-up to those findings there is a dissertation about the impact that Mr Doug Buchanan was having and it refers to some of the effects that he was having, including drug trafficking into the centre had been reduced, detainee management strategies had been enhanced and staff morale had improved significantly. Finding 17 makes the point:

That the AMC is now at a critical point in its history. The AMC has negotiated its first year of operation without disastrous incident. However, to date it has not delivered to the standard required by its ambitious vision and objective.

It makes the point:

Strong leadership with a clear plan of action from this point on is essential for safety, security and effective detainee rehabilitation outcomes …

That is the systemic issue, that we have had a revolving door of superintendents. This created safety and security issues, but someone with the right experience, Mr Doug Buchanan, was headhunted, that the Hamburger review found that he had done the job, but the AMC is at a critical point and it needs that continuing leadership, that continuing experience, to make sure there are not any safety and security problems.

Against this backdrop, Doug Buchanan was removed from his leadership position in the AMC. And the question is: why? Nobody can satisfactorily answer that question. And if he has been removed by the minister—and the minister will still assert that it was voluntary or he agreed to be removed, despite what Mr Buchanan says—was it

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