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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3624..


Mr Berry (continuing):

statistics since the end of the last financial year going into the current financial year are very promising, Mr Stanhope. There is a very promising trend.

It is early days yet but the significant investment of $10 million to police is starting to show very real, positive trends. I might say Operation Strikeback and Operation Handbrake also dovetailed on two earlier operations which were started in May by the AFP. The figures released relate to 1999.

As a result of those worsening trends the government is acting. The police are doing an excellent job in terms of the clear - up rate. They are certainly doing their job, Mr Stanhope, and are worthy of congratulations for that.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, minister. Given the announcement yesterday that police are to, quite rightly, concentrate heavily on traffic issues over the holiday period, what assurances have you received of any impact on Canberra's already unacceptable rate of burglary and car theft as a result of this focus on traffic matters?

MR STEFANIAK: That was a very good question from Mr Stanhope. You are right, Mr Stanhope; it is important to concentrate on traffic matters and police are doing that, quite rightly, in the Christmas period. It is also an excellent way to deploy the new officers coming on stream. In no way will the efforts being made by police in terms of those traffic matters detract from the very real and, in my opinion, serious need to combat major crime in this territory. In no way does that operation take away from the police efforts in addressing and combating some of the more major crime in this territory. In many ways it sometimes can assist. I think you can rest assured that police are well aware of that and they will ensure that burglaries and robberies - those areas of great concern to the Canberra community - are targetted.

I repeat: I am delighted with the efforts the police have been making in this financial year - since 1 July - with the increased resources we have given them, with the use of intelligence - based policing and the extra staff they have available to combat those trends. I think that is a very positive sign. I am very happy with the way the police are doing their job in terms of combating those crime trends. I think the community can be very proud of them.

Nurses

MR HIRD: My question is addressed to the Minister for Health, Housing and Community Care, Mr Moore. Minister, can you inform the Assembly whether the government's wage offer for nurses is receiving a positive response from the nursing staff?

MR MOORE: Mr Hird, thank you very much for that question, and what a pleasure it is to answer it. Let me first say that on Thursday I will be making a full statement outlining the package but, as you would be aware, I wrote to each member and provided them with a copy of the briefing papers on the nursing package.

This package was an unprecedented industrial move, and it reflects that this government is very keen to ensure that we keep industrial relations on a positive footing. We have always been concerned to ensure on the one hand that we keep positive industrial


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