Page 3086 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

That, I think, shows the government’s commitment to addressing this issue seriously and to progressing it consistently. I think the work of the new executive director of Corrective Services and her team, along with the other members of the AMC task force which I established following the receipt of Mr Hamburger’s report, is standing us in good stead. I thank them for their work and we will continue to use their advice and guidance as we move forward with the implementation of all of those issues. The Justice and Community Safety budget is a strong budget for Canberra, a strong budget for a safer and more just community. I thank members for their support of it.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I think there is one project that is very much worth mentioning; it is often passed over. The government is close to completing the delivery of the new forensic medical centre for the ACT, or the morgue as it is more ubiquitously known. I do not know whether any members have visited the existing morgue, the Kingston forensic medical centre. It is an extremely old, dilapidated facility.

When I first became minister I visited the Kingston facility. I was very concerned to see the state of that facility that was developed back in the 1960s. I could not imagine being a relative of somebody who was deceased, being taken to that facility and having to deal with the physical surrounds of that facility. The staff at the Kingston forensic medical centre do an outstanding job. I am referring to the ACT Policing liaison officers who are based there as well as the forensic medical technicians and the forensic pathologists. But it was overwhelmingly time for a new facility.

I was pleased to visit that new facility in the Phillip area earlier this year when it was under construction. This new forensic medical centre is in a much more central location. It will be a modern facility and I am very pleased that in this budget we provide an additional $1.5 million to finalise the procurement of the equipment needed for that facility to commence its operations.

The delivery of that facility will provide greatly enhanced facilities for the bereaved families and friends. I am very proud of that effort. Proper quiet spaces, proper viewing rooms to view the deceased, proper counselling spaces are, I think, absolutely essential when families of the deceased and friends of the deceased face the horrible prospect of having to go to the forensic centre to identify a loved one or to view the body of a loved one.

That is something which I am confident is going to improve the level of service delivery for people in those circumstances. I am very pleased that we are providing the funding to complete that last piece of work to see that centre open later this year. I commend the appropriation to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.13—Sustainable Development Directorate$73,992,000 (net cost of outputs), $25,946,000 (capital injection) and $1,693,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $101,631,000.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Industrial Relations and Treasurer) (9.18): I move amendment No 3 circulated in my

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video