Around 10 years ago nearly half the paramedics in Canberra were off on workers compensation at some time during the year, suffering strained backs from lifting patients onto stretchers into ambulances.
Faced with a massive occupational health and safety issue and mounting compensation claims, the government had no option but to spend the money and fix the problem.
The Minister for Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman, claimed the glory when in fact it was union member pressure - of which the minister knows the effectiveness full well, given he is a former union representative and has worked those angles himself - which identified the issue and with several million dollars worth of technology, the problem went away.
However, fixing the long-standing issues at the Alexander Maconochie Centre is going to require well-considered (and costly) resourcing and infrastructure - and no amount of ministerial bluster and obfuscation on the floor of the ACT Assembly will avoid it.
The corrections portfolio was the "hospital handpass" to Mr Gentleman when Green leader Shane Rattenbury was elevated to Attorney-General after the last ACT election.
Mr Rattenbury had already placed some significant commitments on the table. Work on the next big infrastructure spend - the "up to 80-bed" Reintegration Centre (from the 2019-20 budget) - has gone very quiet. And it appears the bed numbers have quietly dropped to 60 to trim costs.
The past few years have been peppered with bizarre and troubling jail issues. To rake over them is like reading script excerpts from the mini-series Wentworth.
To add even more atmosphere, our prisoners are even allowed to smoke.
We've had drones dropping drugs into the yard, people cutting holes in the fence and tossing the drugs in, riots of various sizes and levels of violence, regular beatings inside cells and most recently, a handcuffed inmate leaping for freedom from a rammed and slammed prison Camry (five-star rated for crash safety, we're told by the Minister, and thank goodness for that).
After last year's prison riot, the head of corrections avoided providing full details and some weeks later, was quietly shuffled off into a nice new (much quieter) job within Justice and Community Safety. When asked pointedly about that odd and expensive staff redeployment on the floor of the Assembly, Mr Gentleman obfuscated. Again.
Now that the ACT has a "human rights" jail - a commitment which Labor's former chief minister Jon Stanhope now regrets - we can't put the genie back in the bottle.
But the minister could at least provide a clear and unpoliticised picture of what's going to be done at Canberra's jail to prevent the same issues being repeated again and again.