Page 3307 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 22 September 2015
permits, the bill seeks to clarify how the permits can be issued, the duration of the permits and the number of times permits can be issued in succession. This issue has been addressed to add some clarification to the existing legislation particularly surrounding instances where a prisoner in the custody of ACT Corrective Services needs to be transported interstate. As I understand, a recent example was to receive health treatment that was unable to be provided within the ACT. The same provision is inserted into the Children and Young People Act to cover this instance should it arise for a young person in detention under the youth corrections system.
The other change that this bill seeks to make is to address the processes by which random drug testing is conducted within the ACT corrective system, particularly at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, the ACT’s prison. Currently random drug testing is done anonymously and this legislation seeks to remove the anonymous element, meaning that drug testing that is conducted amongst prisoners and remandees will be done on a random basis but that all tests will be identifiable.
As I said before, the opposition will be supporting this legislation. These are moves that the opposition has been calling for for quite some time and it has been quite a bizarre point to me since I took over the shadow portfolio why drug testing in the prison was done purely anonymously, given that it failed to see the other part of the picture: being able to offer the help, support, rehabilitation or, in other instances, disciplinary action for breaches when they do occur. We hope that this is the first of many steps to come in addressing the drug problem at the jail and we will be supporting this today.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.49): I am pleased to speak in support of the Corrections Management Amendment Bill which updates corrections legislation managed by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and legislation relating to young detainees managed by the Community Services Directorate. Today as the Minister for Children and Young people I speak to the provisions contained in the bill that will amend the Children and Young People Act 2008 to clarify that an interstate leave permit can be renewed.
Section 242 provides that the director-general can give a young detainee leave to travel to and from and remain in another state for seven days and this leave is in an interstate leave permit. Currently, as indicated by Mr Wall, section 242 of the Children and Young People Act is silent on whether interstate leave permits can be renewed. The bill makes amendments to the act to make it clear that interstate leave permits can be renewed. This amendment will ensure appropriate mechanisms are in place to allow a young detainee to stay interstate for a genuine purpose for a period longer than seven days.
A hypothetical example of where this amendment might be used is if a young person in the transition unit was undertaking work experience in the community as part of their transition plan and unfortunately became involved in a work-related accident. Following the accident medical tests and expert opinion identify that the best possible treatment and ongoing rehabilitation for the young person is not available in the ACT