Mount Gambier Prison

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:27 :07 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Correctional Services—I think that's his title—a question about the Mount Gambier Prison.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: In the local newspaper from Mount Gambier, The Border Watch, on 4 February, the very hardworking and new member for Mount Gambier—unlike the ones who have preceded him for the last 20 years—Mr Troy Bell, made some comments about the Mount Gambier Prison. In response to those comments, the minister said, and I quote:

In his response, Mr Malinauskas said it had been no secret South Australia had experienced an increased prison population recently with Mount Gambier Prison currently housing around 460 inmates.

'However, there are definitely no prisoners sleeping on the floor at Mount Gambier Prison,' he said.

My question to the minister is: does he stand by his statement that there are definitely no prisoners sleeping on the floor?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:28 :17 ): I thank the honourable member for his question. I also concur that Mr Bell is an advocate of Mount Gambier, does a good job quite well and has, indeed, for a long time had an interest in the Mount Gambier Prison, it being a large employer within his electorate. I am pleased to inform the chamber that I am advised that there are no prisoners sleeping on the floor in the Mount Gambier Prison.

The PRESIDENT: Supplementary.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:28 :44 ): The words were 'there are definitely no prisoners sleeping on the floor'. Will you stand by your statement that there are definitely no prisoners sleeping on the floor?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: How many people does it take to answer a simple question?

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. K.J. Maher interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Leader of the Government, order! The honourable minister has just replied to you that his advice is there are no prisoners. He makes it quite clear that his advice is there are no prisoners sleeping on the floor, so your next question was really out of order.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Mr President, the question was there was no reference to advice in the statement he made to the paper. 'However, there are definitely no prisoners sleeping on the floor at Mount Gambier Prison.' That is the question I am asking. They want to dodge around and duck and weave; that was the question I asked, Mr President.

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:29 :37 ): I am more than happy to keep reiterating myself for another 57 minutes if it would please the opposition. I made it very clear that I am advised that there are no prisoners sleeping on the floor in the Mount Gambier Prison. I am not sure that I can be any clearer than that, but as I said I'm more than happy to spend the next 57 minutes reiterating that answer.

 

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