ACT QT: streamlined jailbirds

In #ACTQT toady it was again all about our capital prisons – the Alexander Machonochie Centre and the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre.

Greens MLA and acting speaker Caroline Le Couteur has just kicked Liberal MLA Jeremy Hanson out of the chamber. I don’t know why, but it’s the first time a member has been told to leave the floor this term. So it’s kind of a big deal. I’ll find out later. Watch this space.

Earlier in #ACTQT it was again all about our capital prisons – the Alexander Machonochie Centre and the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre.

The Liberals continued to push Attorney General Simon Corbell on why the AMC is having 20 bunk beds retrofitted when he says it hasn’t yet reached capacity and is not projected to do so.

Mostly Corbell reiterated his comments from yesterday’s QT, but also pointed to Jeremy Hanson’s suggestions we should import convicts from NSW to fill all the beds (this would apparently make it more economically efficient).

The Liberals weren’t having a bar of this and demanded an answer. Corbell basically refused to give one.

“It’s simplistic, misjudged policy,” Corbell said.

It was kind of tense.

Yesterday Minister for Children and Young People Joy Burch announced there would be an independent review of Bimberi, which is coming up to its second year of operations.

Today the Liberal Party wanted to know why it wouldn’t be an inquiry under the Inquiries Act.

Burch said it was an extreme approach.

“An Inquiry under the Inquiries Act is a tad too far if the outcome is to affect change at Bimberi,” Burch said.

“At no point have those opposite sought a briefing. They jumped straight to an inquiry under the Inquiries Act.”

“I just don’t think it’s the right way to go.”

Greens leader Meredith Hunter wanted to know if the centralisation of youth services in the ACT would be daunting for young people and their families.

Burch said it that it was “harmonising” and “streamlining” the process of accessing youth services.

Also on the agenda: master plans for town centres and Canberra as a whole, organic waste management plans and tourism.

The master plans issue saw Andrew Barr call Jeremy Hanson a “Hansonite queue jumper” over suggestion he wanted to have the Weston Creek town centre reviewed ASAP.

Then Vicki Dunne sang “queue jumper” while her microphone was turned off.

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