Wednesday 2010 - Estimates Committee B (McKim) - Part 1







Mr Dean

Mr Finch

Mr Wing

Mrs Taylor

Ms Rattray (Chair)





Dr Goodwin





Hon. 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


Cassy O'Connor MP, Secretary to Cabinet




Department of Justice


Lisa Hutton, Secretary

Michael Stevens, Deputy Secretary

Robert Williams, Deputy Secretary

Greg Partridge, Assistant Director of Prisons

Chris Batt, Director, Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

Jo Maxfield, Manager, Reception Prisons

Ginna Webster, Director, Community Corrections



Department of Premier and Cabinet


Greg Johannes, Deputy Secretary, Policy

Nick Evans, Director, Policy and Programs, Program Development Unit

Wendy Spencer, Executive Director, Office of Climate Change



Ministerial Staff


Ronan Lee, Adviser

Andrew Perry, Adviser

Christian Attfield, Adviser

Rosemary Sandford, Adviser

Claire Jansen, Assistant Policy Adviser/Executive Officer


(Department of Justice)


Output group 6

Corrective Services 


Mr 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?


Mr 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.


Mr DEAN - Reception sounds nice.


Mr WING - Welcoming.


Mr DEAN - Have we got a welcome sign hanging out the front?


Mr McKIM - No.  I do not recall a welcome sign; there may be one.


In 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, Mr Dean.


Mr DEAN - They receive them there, right.


Mr 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 -


Mr FINCH - Is that available to all prisoners, Minister?


Mr 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.


Mr FINCH - Any plans for the future in respect of refurbishment of the facilities there?


Mr 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.