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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 September 2015) . . Page.. 3396 ..

Once again I am calling on the ACT government to implement a thorough review of security and management practices at the AMC in an effort to ensure that any ongoing issues do not seep into the expanded facility. The bigger the jail grows, the bigger the problem gets unless we do something about it today. It is imperative that we take stock now and act in a productive way. Therefore I commend this motion to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (12.10): I will not be supporting the motion before us today, nor will I even seek to amend it. While I appreciate Mr Wall's ongoing interest in these matters and realise that he must, from time to time, be seen to be doing something on these matters in the chamber, he has unfortunately again highlighted his lack of understanding of the issues facing the modern correctional centre system. I had hoped that, after nearly three years as opposition spokesperson for corrections, he would have, perhaps, through his reading and visits and briefings and contacts with Liberal Party colleagues in other jurisdictions, taken on board some of the common realities of running a prison and also become aware of the skill and professionalism of the men and women who manage on a day to day basis what many of us could never do. But I will seek to bring further information to Mr Wall’s attention today.

Before I do this, however, I do want to thank Mr Wall for providing an opportunity to highlight the opening of one of the two new accommodation units at the AMC this week. I know he has seen this facility, as we organised a tour for him last week. I also participated in a tour with the media the week before. It is a really important new facility that not only will assist in relieving the pressure of rapidly increasing detainee numbers but also, through a flexible approach to design, will have features that will improve separation and segregation capabilities. The hub and spoke design will split the cells in each building across a number of independent wings.

Simpler, more efficient detainee management will be enhanced, for example by the inclusion of programs and interview rooms in each new facility which will reduce the need for escorts to the dedicated programs building. I am very pleased to say that this building was delivered on time and within budget and that the larger, second accommodation unit is similarly on track. The special care unit began accommodating detainees this past Tuesday afternoon just gone. I think all were very impressed with this new facility and the excellent progress of this project, and I think it will certainly improve the management situation of detainees at the AMC and enable a greater suite of options for dealing with that difficult environment.

Let us focus for a minute on the substantive concerns that Mr Wall may genuinely have regarding contraband and illicit substance abuse in the AMC. It is concerning, and I share those concerns, but I would like to be clear: my answer to this is the same as my answer last time Mr Wall called for a review into security. When I respond with examples of this being an issue in every jail in the country, and perhaps the world, Mr Wall and his colleagues have a go at me for talking around the issues. But the fact remains that 90 kilometres up the road from here is the highest security prison in the

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