Page 3401 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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As evidenced by the quotes I highlighted in my main speech, the sentencing practices of the ACT judiciary are being influenced to an extent by the underlying issues of drugs, contraband and illicit substances inside the prison. We see individuals who would normally, under traditional circumstances, serve a custodial sentence being diverted into other therapies simply because the judiciary do not have faith that an individual that goes to the ACT’s jail will not continue to use drugs or will not continue to attract, as Magistrate Dingwall quite rightly put it, an addiction to another substance.

I think that the broader picture needs to be considered here, not just the AMC’s operation. Mr Rattenbury tried to say that I am very narrow-minded and that I am only focusing on negative aspects of the jail, but we need to look at this more broadly. What impact are the issues inside that jail having on the way our community functions more broadly? If we are missing an opportunity to rehabilitate offenders, if we are missing an opportunity to do the best by them, the community is at a loss more broadly. It raises questions about broader community safety if people who are, as the Director of Public Prosecutions rightly put it, a one-person crime spree are let back out in public, giving them the opportunity to simply walk out of a court-ordered facility and days later be found again in another jurisdiction. What is being done to community safety not just here in the ACT but across the borders in New South Wales, where we often rely on these facilities? What kind of a reputation is the ACT being left with and what confidence can the ratepayers of this city have that they are safe?

Question put:

That Mr Wall’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6


Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Ms Berry

Ms Fitzharris

Mr Doszpot

Mr Wall

Dr Bourke

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Lawder

Mr Corbell

Question so resolved in the negative.

Sitting suspended from 12.33 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

ACT Health—performance

MR HANSON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. The ACT Health website displays the latest health quarterly report. It is dated December 2014. Quarterly reports were due at the end of March 2015 and the end of June 2015, but they have not been released and do not appear on the website. Minister, why are reports on the performance of ACT Health not being released?

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