Page 629 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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I will also convene a high-level working group to drive overarching implementation of the Moss response and the government’s acceptance of the recommendations. I want to make it clear that this government response will not be lost to this moment in time but will instead serve as the genesis for longer term cultural and practical change. I commit to providing annual reports to the Assembly on the implementation of these recommendations and conclusions.

The government recognises that the community and the Assembly need reassurance that the services provided to detainees are in line with best practice and community expectations. In response to this need and under my direction, JACS has commenced work on a new oversight agency for the AMC: an inspectorate of custodial services. This inspectorate function is a response to the Moss inquiry’s observations in recommendation 8 about the need for enhanced oversight of critical incidents at ACT correctional facilities.

While acknowledging the existing powers of the Ombudsman and continuing to explore opportunities to better engage their services, I believe that as a jurisdiction it is time that we had a dedicated oversight agency that will offer both proactive and reactive scrutiny of the AMC. This dedicated service will work within our strong human rights framework and have clear linkages to the Ombudsman’s functions.

I will be publically releasing the report this afternoon, and I am happy to provide further dedicated briefings to any members of the Assembly on its contents. I would like to acknowledge the grief of the family again at this time, and thank Julie Tongs, the CEO of Winnunga, for her support to them and her ongoing commitment to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I would also like to again acknowledge the work of Mr Moss and his team in undertaking his inquiry, and the efforts of the justice and Health directorates in particular in supporting me to develop this response. To achieve change of this nature and ensure it is lasting requires great determination and focus. I am confident that the ACT government understands this and will meet this challenge with collaboration and dedication.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Official Visitor for Disability Services—annual report 2015-2016

Paper and statement by minister

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (4.05): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Official Visitor Act, pursuant to section 17—Official Visitor for Disability Services—Annual report 2015-16

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