Shadow Minister for Corrections Elizabeth Kikkert will today move a motion of no confidence in Corrections Minister Mick Gentleman.
The no-confidence motion follows a litany of failures under the minister’s leadership, including:
- the mistaken release of an inmate into the community;
- the continued use of a detainee transport vehicle despite warnings from the Inspector of Corrections that it was unsuitable;
- a dangerous car chase and escape of a detainee on the streets of Canberra while using the inappropriate vehicle;
- multiple prison riots costing the Canberra taxpayer well over $5 million so far; and
- the ongoing plague of alcohol, drugs and contraband at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
Mrs Kikkert said over the last nine months under the minister’s watch, our corrections system has been riddled with unprecedented disasters.
“In the last month alone, we have seen the escape of a detainee through the use of extremely dangerous methods on the streets of Canberra and a prisoner mistakenly released into the community,” said Mrs Kikkert.
“Whenever leadership is required by this minister he goes missing.
“Staff in the AMC have never faced more life-threatening situations than they have under this minister.
“Staff have had to fight fires, respond to riots without effective training and were put in serious danger along with the public when using vehicles for prisoner transfers deemed unsuitable by the Inspector of Correctional Services.
“The Assembly cannot allow the minister to continue placing our Corrections Officers and the greater community in harm’s way. The risk is too great.
“Our Corrections Officers provide a vital service to the people of Canberra. They deserve better, Canberrans deserve better, and this minister is incapable of delivering it,” Mrs Kikkert concluded.
Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee said the state of the corrections system in Australia’s capital is a national embarrassment.
“This no-confidence motion is an opportunity for each MLA to decide whether they endorse these significant failures, and in turn, the Corrections Minister,” Ms Lee said.
“Together Labor and the Greens have blocked our calls to fix the systemic issues plaguing the Alexander Maconochie Centre. It would be a failure of our democratic duty to not bring this motion before the Assembly today.