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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2908 ..

the prison? I do not think that has yet been explained very clearly or very articulately by the minister or any members opposite, including the minister for Indigenous affairs. It is something that probably deserves to be addressed in this debate today, whilst we are being asked to sign off on quite a substantial amount of money to go back into this portfolio area.

I will also touch briefly on through-care. While it is still in its early days, I will give some credit where credit is due. Thus far, the signals seem to be positive. It seems as though we have finally got a formula in part that is working to address some recidivist behaviour. I say that cautiously, given that this policy has only been implemented for about 18 months. But the truth in that pudding will be over the long-term statistics. Nearly 50 per cent of detainees in the AMC are revisiting within two years either for breaches of parole or for committing further offences. The truth in through-care will be how that statistic performs over the long term.

With that, we watch with bated breath and hope that for the sake of those individuals that are going through the jail finally there is some help to alleviate the turnstile-type approach there has been to the prison and corrections system in this territory for far too long.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.25): Police, fire, ambulance and emergency services play a vital role in providing a safety net for the ACT community. This budget again shows the priority this government places on ensuring that ACT police, fire and ambulance services have modern infrastructure to meet the challenges of the future.

Over the last four budgets this government has invested in completely new police, fire and ambulance stations across Belconnen. Construction of the new Aranda ambulance and fire station is due to finish mid next year. It is an important stage of the ESA station upgrade and relocation strategy which aims to improve response times as Canberra continues to grow.

The new Aranda station will replace the old Belconnen fire station, a victim of the rapid urban intensification of Belconnen town centre. It has become less appropriate to have fire trucks based there and dashing off to call-outs. The Charnwood fire and ambulance station was completed in 2013. The $12 million station services the booming population of west Belconnen, as west Macgregor continues to expand, we have infill elsewhere and we look to the Riverview development further westwards.

The new station has given firefighters and paramedics access to the state-of-the-art facilities that we all expect our stations to have. The investments in new stations are keeping up with Belconnen’s continuing growth and are replacing older infrastructure built in the 70s.

As part of the ACT government’s improvement of our response services in Belconnen, we should not forget the investment in police infrastructure. The new Belconnen police station that opened just three years ago, in 2012, was a vast improvement on the former station. It includes five holding cells, a breath analysis section and specialised incident rooms. The station also boasts the territory’s greenest credentials, with solar hot water, chilled beam air conditioners and rainwater harvesting, using less energy as a result.

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