Page 3700 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe! Let Mr Rattenbury give an answer.

MR RATTENBURY: The term that I used yesterday, “actual daily numbers”, refers to the actual number of prisoners in the AMC on a given day—so the actual number of human bodies that are detained in the facility and not able to leave at the end of the day. So that was the number of 341 that I gave yesterday. The “raw accommodation number” that I used of 366 refers to the actual number of bed places available in the AMC at the current time.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, is the short-term increase in raw accommodation numbers to 366 permanent and, if not, when will the short-term arrangements be reversed?

MR RATTENBURY: The actual number of beds is 366. I have no intention at this point to reduce those numbers. As I outlined in my statement and as I have said publicly, we are facing significant pressures. The actual number of prisoners today is 341. That got as high as 343 in the last few days. Clearly, at this point there will be no call—and it would be quite unwise—to remove any beds.

In terms of the medium to longer term, I have indicated—and it is in the budget process—the government is intending to build additional accommodation. But at this point, I see no reason to remove those additional beds that have been installed.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: How many prisoners more than the current 343 “actual daily numbers” would mean that the AMC is full?

MR RATTENBURY: This goes to some extent to the answer I gave to Mr Hanson earlier. The actual number of beds we have is 366. I think members have a good understanding of the fact that that does not necessarily mean that all 366 beds can be used. A set number of those beds are in the women’s area, and obviously we are not able to mix male and female detainees. We also have issues from the broader separation discussion which I know members have been briefed on on their visits to the Alexander Maconochie Centre. I think you have a good understanding and appreciation of those issues.

It is a daily proposition. It is one that the staff at the Alexander Maconochie Centre are managing with a high degree of professionalism—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, I have a point of order on relevance.

MADAM SPEAKER: Point of order, Mr Hanson.

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