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Wednesday, 30 May 1984
Page: 2196

(Question No. 639)


Senator Reynolds asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 28 February 1984:

(1) Will the Attorney-General extend his discussions with Queensland authorities on possible breaches of the United Nations standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners at the Brisbane prison to include an investigation of prison conditions at Kowanyama on Cape York Peninsula, where media reports have quoted the National Aboriginal Conference member, Harry Daphney, as saying that totally inadequate food and facilities are being provided to prisoners in this community.

(2) Will the Attorney-General seek assurances from the Queensland Government that all prisons in that State operate in accordance with the United Nations standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners.


Senator Gareth Evans —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) following a question asked of me in this place by the honourable senator on 15 December 1983 I made representations to the Queensland Minister for Justice and Attorney-General concerning compliance with the United Nations standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners in the Brisbane prison complex. I have now made further representations to the Queensland authorities drawing to their attention the matters raised in the honourable senator's question.

(2) In his reply to my original representations the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General advised me that 'the Queensland Government supports the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners, with Queensland conditions generally being superior to those recommended.' If he adds anything of substance in his reply to my further representations I will pass it on to the honourable senator.