Page 4350 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013
At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.
MR HANSON: It was in the Official Visitor’s evidence as well. He said that we hear about Long Bay and that ACT prisoners will be sent to Goulburn or Long Bay. But he says:
… if you go to somewhere like Long Bay, you will find that it is really a complex of jails. Obviously, they have economies of scale. You can put all the sex offenders into one area and then do some intensive rehabilitation. Here you have got a mix of people and you have got to cater for all categories. It really makes it difficult to do.
That is a very good point. There are jails in New South Wales that, because of their economies of scale, can provide essentially niche capabilities for sex offenders, drug rehabilitation, maximum security prisoners and so on. There are prison farms. But at this stage, you have got remandees, sentenced and all the rest of it crammed, squeezed, in this potential powder keg.
I make the point, Madam Speaker, that if something does happen out there and it is the result of the overcrowding—and the Official Visitor is warning that it will—and this government has failed to respond adequately, then this government will be culpable. This government will be culpable. And in any subsequent investigation or, God forbid, a coronial inquest, the blame for this situation is to be sheeted home to Minister Corbell, who instigated this, and Minister Rattenbury, who has failed to act.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (6.03): I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly:”, substitute:
(a) that the built capacity of the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) was 300 when it opened in 2009;
(b) that several detainee population projections were considered in the design of the AMC;
(c) that population forecasting/modelling is an extremely difficult task, with all which jurisdictions struggle;
(d) that the detainee population of the AMC has increased by approximately 40 percent in the past 10 months;
(e) that an increase of this proportion in this timeframe is unprecedented;