Page 4230 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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the government has implemented, is yet to implement, and what is being done to ensure these remain in place and are improved on over time.

For example, when it comes to people being detained by the police, the royal commission recommended that it be mandatory for police to immediately notify the relatives of a detainee who is regarded as being at risk or who has been transferred to hospital. I would assume that this recommendation also applies to Corrections and the AMC. In previous correspondence between the Greens and the government, we raised concerns about protocols for informing the Aboriginal liaison officer and Aboriginal Official Visitor when an incident occurred. The government did say that the Indigenous liaison officer and the Official Visitor were notified the next day of an incident, but it remains that the Aboriginal liaison officer was not.

As explained by Mr Hanson in his speech, the Aboriginal liaison officer and the Indigenous liaison officer are different people. The Indigenous liaison officer works inside the AMC and the Aboriginal liaison officer works outside and is based with Gugan Gulwan. A letter in reply to me from the Attorney-General stated that there was no requirement under legislation, the AMC’s policies or procedures or the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody for an Indigenous liaison officer or similar position to be notified in regard to incidents of self-harm, although the Indigenous liaison officer was informed the next day after the incident in question here.

Given the recommendation from the Aboriginal deaths in custody report that I did read out earlier, and that I know have been referred to previously, about family being notified in cases of risk of self-harm in police stations, I believe there should be a broader and stronger application of this recommendation to the AMC and Gugan Gulwan’s Aboriginal liaison officer. The local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community wants to be able to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the AMC but needs the government to have strong communication protocols with the community to achieve this.

I am going to speak briefly on something Mr Hanson mentioned in his speech—his opposition to the NSP being introduced in the AMC. I would just like to bring to his attention, given the respect which he has shown today for people working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander non-government area, that the Working together report developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body recommended that detainees in the AMC be provided services equivalent to those provided to the greater community. Having an NSP in the AMC would support this.

I also take the points that Mr Corbell has raised that obviously a prison environment is a very difficult one to work in and that there are incidents which occur around drug use and other such issues. He raised some of those. But I do believe, as Mr Hanson’s motion has raised, that we need to be cognisant of this. We need to do what we can to prevent and mitigate it. This is why we do support looking at whether those recommendations from the Aboriginals deaths in custody report have been applied.

As to Mr Hanson’s amendments, obviously we do not have a problem with those. They are just correcting some factual issues in the original motion; so we are happy to support the amended motion.

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