Page 819 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 18 March 2015

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that is up to. Will I be issuing a report on it? I had not planned to, but I think a statement in the Assembly tomorrow, following question time, with an update, would suffice.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, have you written to your interstate counterparts to prioritise the issues of animal abuse in the greyhound racing industry in your next meeting with them? When did you do this? What was the response?

MS BURCH: Yes, I have written. Tomorrow, when I bring the advice, I am quite happy to table a copy of that letter. The meeting was actually scheduled for sometime in May. Advice has come through to my office today that that has been deferred. So, unfortunately, I will not have a chance to have a face-to-face discussion with my colleagues on that because the meeting has been bumped to no fixed date in the future.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what investigations have you initiated to ensure that live baiting does not occur in the ACT, given the RSPCA has alleged that there was one incident of live baiting in Canberra?

MS BURCH: I am confident, and the advice to me is, that there is no baiting—absolutely no baiting—here in the ACT. But, as I have said, I am quite happy to come back with an updated bit of advice tomorrow.

Mental health—secure facility

DR BOURKE: My question is to the health minister. Minister, can you please update the Assembly on how the secure mental health unit is progressing?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. In 2012, as members would be aware, the government provided funding to build a secure mental health facility for the city. This is an important project. We need a dedicated capacity to deal with mental health clients who are caught up in the criminal justice system and for whom spending time alternatively in the AMC, the Alexander Maconochie Centre, is not the best outcome, either for the operation of the prison or, indeed, for the person’s clinical care. $1.2 million was provided in the 2007-08 budget and a further $2 million in the 2012-13 budget to enable the necessary planning and design works. $43.49 million was provided in the most recent budget for construction.

I am pleased to say that work is progressing well. The site has now been cleared and work on the preliminary sketch plans commenced in November 2013. We had detailed community consultation following that, and the 100 per cent preliminary sketch plans were approved by ACT Health in July last year. ACT Health have also concluded the model of care for the facility, which is focused on providing a continuum of security needs for clients, based on their acuity of illness and their assessed risk of harm to themselves and others. All of this information is publicly available for people to look at.

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