Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 30 November 2017) . . Page.. 5479 ..
are given to the Speaker, who is then required to table them in the Assembly within five sitting days. A report by the inspector must include an evaluation, an assessment and any recommendations relating to the correctional centre and services provided. The report must also include a statement of any matter that has been referred to or by another oversight or investigative entity and if any part of the report is to be kept confidential due to public interest considerations against disclosure.
When considering whether to make part of a report confidential, the inspector is required to consider if, on balance, the overriding interest against public disclosure outweighs the public interest in favour of disclosure. The grounds for potential non-disclosure of information in a report by the inspector do not include information which may cause embarrassment to or loss of confidence in the executive, a minister or a director-general, or information that may be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Finally, as the bill establishes a new preventive oversight mechanism overseeing correctional centres and services in the ACT, the government has included a provision for the act to be reviewed as soon as practicable after the end of its fifth year of operation. This will ensure that the legislation empowering the inspector continues to meet its purpose, scope and objectives. The bill also makes consequential amendments to the Corrections Management Act, the Children and Young People Act and other territory laws to reflect the role of the new inspector.
This bill provides a necessary oversight of correctional centres and services that our community rightly expects. I believe that the bill has been constructed in a way that can give the community confidence that this role has the necessary powers and independence to serve the purpose that we intended.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (6.15): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 5501]. This amendment simply asks that the appointment, once suggested or concluded by the government, be sent to a standing committee of the Assembly for comment and then be consulted on with the general Assembly and agreed, with a two-thirds majority of members.
It is not an especially onerous request. It is already done for the advertising standards commissioner. It is also what has been recommended for our integrity and corruption commission. As we create more of these bodies with extensive and unusual powers, it is a safeguard which makes the work of the body additionally trustworthy. It is not a complex request. It is already done by the Assembly for various bodies—certainly not for all executive appointments—and it is an amendment we are proposing in order to give this body the additional respect it requires to do its job properly.