Page 4229 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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investigation of medication procedures. While it may be the case that most of this work has been done—I do thank Mr Corbell for outlining the work that has been done—I, and I imagine other MLAs, would be interested in seeing the evidence of those considerations and how any similar future incidents can be prevented or mitigated.

I would like to note that in preparing the Greens’ response to Mr Hanson’s motion my office consulted with a number of stakeholders, all of whom supported the steps proposed. This included groups who specialise in drug and alcohol services and provide other services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including the Aboriginal Justice Centre and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body.

Recently the Greens have expressed concern and asked questions around issues concerning the implementation of the Aboriginal justice agreement and the overall treatment of Aboriginal people in the ACT. The questions we asked were about the issue Mr Hanson has already raised about the number of Aboriginal people in the crisis support unit. We also asked questions around the AMC requiring a second Aboriginal case manager, particularly given that Aboriginal people in prison often have quite complex problems, sometimes more so than other prisoners, and also questions around the Working together document and how that was being implemented.

Representatives of the Aboriginal community have also approached the Greens. Mr Hanson mentioned that they have spoken to him also, obviously resulting in this motion today. I do note that there have also been discussions with the government around the situation of Aboriginal people, given the high rates of incarceration as well as how they are coping once they are incarcerated in the AMC.

As I have noted, I have raised the issue about the crisis support unit. We were told that in late July seven of the eight detainees in the crisis support unit were of Aboriginal descent. I understand that one of the Aboriginal detainees was there to seek refuge from another inmate, but it still remains that at least six of the eight being held in the unit were Aboriginal people at risk, including from self-harm.

In late July there were 32 Aboriginal detainees in the AMC, 21 per cent of whom were in the crisis support unit. The Greens are aware of the justice agreement and the Working together report that the government developed in collaboration with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body. It provides a number of positive steps to progress justice issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT. I do have some concerns, however, that there has not been a time line provided for implementing the recommendations from the report. This is something we do hope to see some action on and, as I said, have asked questions around.

As I noted previously, the Greens asked questions of the Attorney-General and other departments about matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inmates. This has been done through correspondence, questions in estimates, questions on notice and also in question time. It is appropriate that we consider what answers the corrections system in the ACT has made since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. We must question whether there are key principles and programs

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