I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Correctional Services a question about Bevan Spencer von Einem.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On 20 November in this place the minister reported in relation to the administration of medication to prisoners and said:
. . . all medication is issued by nursing staff on a dose by dose basis up to three times a day. . . There are some smaller prisons where this does not happen, where so-called Webster-paks are used.
Prisoners are not allowed to have or store medication in their cells, with the exception of medication that needs to be taken in the case of emergency, for example, asthma puffers.
Yesterday in the House of Assembly during question time the Minister for Health (Hon. John Hill), in relation to von Einem and the administration of sex performance enhancing drugs, said:
As I understand it the drugs were given to von Einem over a three-month period and given in two lots. We assume that was in two equal lots, but it may not have been the case. There were eight of these pills altogether and they were given to him. What he then did with them is anyone’s business, but there is some suggestion, of course, that he did take them himself; there is a lot of evidence to suggest that that was the case.
Later, in response to a supplementary question, he said:
The advice I have is that a money order was transferred to the dispensary—the pharmacist.
How does the minister reconcile these two different scenarios of administration of medication in our prisons?
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO(Minister for Correctional Services): I need to firmly place on the record, as I have many times, that health services in our prisons are administered by the Department of Health. The information I placed on the record the other day is what should happen in our prisons; what did happen is the subject of an investigation and, until that investigation is complete, I am unable to make any comment. I made my ministerial statement and comments before the Hon. John Hill made his in the other place.
I learnt of this incident last Friday afternoon, but what actually did happen in this case is the subject of an investigation and I suggest honourable members await the outcome of that. As I said yesterday, honourable members should not play politics with this issue, which is very serious. I reiterate that we are advised that the first time this Viagra-like drug was administered was in 2001 under the Liberal administration.
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. In stating that—
The PRESIDENT: Order! The Hon. Ms Lensink has the call.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The minister has responded that it is the responsibility of the Department of Health to administer drugs. Is she 100 per cent confident that no corrections staff were involved in the administration or handling of this medication?
The PRESIDENT: The minister answered that question yesterday.
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO: We really have to get down to basics in this chamber. An investigation is occurring as to how this happened; there is nothing else I can add.