2010 - Estimates Committee B (McKim) - Part 1
Nick McKim MP, Minister
for Human Services, Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection,
Minister for Community Development, Minister for Climate Change,
Minister for Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy
O'Connor MP, Secretary to
Stevens, Deputy Secretary
Director of Prisons
Batt, Director, Office of
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
of Premier and Cabinet
Evans, Director, Policy
and Programs, Program Development Unit
Director, Office of Climate Change
Jansen, Assistant Policy
FINCH - Minister, could
you advise me of the work of the Launceston remand centre? I am
pleased to hear that you have had a chance to tour the facilities in
Tasmania. I do not know much about the remand centre but, while
it is fresh in your mind, could you apprise me of the occupancy, the
way it is used, and any future refurbishment, expansion or diminution
of the remand centre?
McKIM - I have visited
the Launceston remand centre - sorry, the name changed to the
Launceston Reception Prison some years ago and I thank Ms Hutton for
reminding me of that name change. Do not worry, I still get it
wrong. In fact, the Hobart remand centre has also become the
Hobart Reception Prison.
DEAN - Reception sounds
WING - Welcoming.
DEAN - Have we got a
welcome sign hanging out the front?
McKIM - No. I do
not recall a welcome sign; there may be one.
all seriousness, the issue with the previous name was that it gave
rise to a reasonable perception that the purpose of those facilities
was purely for remand and that is not the purpose, as you would know,
DEAN - They receive them
McKIM - It is not the
only purpose of those facilities anymore so the name was changed to
provide a more accurate reflection of the purpose to which those
facilities were put. There are prisoners who are not on remand
in both the Hobart Reception Prison and the Launceston Reception
Prison. Some prisoners, I might add, have made a proactive
choice to be housed in those areas. I spoke to prisoners in
both of those facilities who had made a proactive choice to request
to be housed -
FINCH - Is that available
to all prisoners, Minister?
McKIM - Within the
constraints of the number of cells and facilities available at those
two prisons, but prisoners do not determine themselves. They
can make a request and then various processes are followed internally
to determine whether it would be appropriate or not. Some
inmates are housed, certainly in the Hobart Reception Prison, on the
basis of the need to segregate them, for their own protection, from
the mainstream maximum-security population, for example, at Risdon.
I spoke to one particular prisoner there who had proactively
requested to be housed at Hobart Reception Prison for that purpose.
There are still people on remand at those facilities. The
figures at 7 June for those two facilities are: Hobart Reception
Prison, 28 inmates, and the maximum capacity there is 36 so that is
not full; and at the Launceston Reception Prison there are 19 inmates
with a maximum capacity there of 28, so that is not full either.
FINCH - Any plans for the
future in respect of refurbishment of the facilities there?
McKIM - All of those
decisions will be taken as we consider a strategic plan for
Corrective Services in Tasmania. I am not going to make ad hoc
decisions about how we move forward. We are going to make those
decisions strategically and by prioritising what we think the needs
of corrections in Tasmania are, going forward.