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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3359..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The total number of offences fell from 55,152 in the year 1999-2000 to 48,715 in the year 2000-01. Significant reductions have been achieved in the main categories of crime in the ACT, including a 24 per cent reduction in home burglaries and a 29 per cent fall in motor vehicle theft. It is a shame that those opposite cannot acknowledge that these results reflect the hard work and the good policing practice of the AFP in the past financial year. Instead, Mr Hargreaves decided to question the truth of the statistics. What he was really saying was that he does not and Labor does not believe the AFP-it is the AFP's statistics that I have tabled. It is typical of the alternative minister for police, who once referred to the AFP as the Keystone Cops.

Mr Quinlan has also played down the results, saying in this place, "We've come off quite a high peak in the past, so a reduction would probably be statistically inevitable."

This government increased funding for police from $51 million in the year 1994-95 to a budgeted cost of $67.5 million in this financial year. Our record is in stark contrast to Labor's, who actually reduced funding for ACT policing from $54 million in the 1990-91 year to just $51 million in 1994-95.

These results point to the success of the intelligence-led approach to attacking crime through operations such as Anchorage, Dilute and Chronicle. Mr Quinlan seems to believe: if outcomes get worse, it is the government's fault; if things improve, it is just inevitable or it is an accident. I suspect he adopted the same approach to the $344 million operating loss that we inherited from the previous Labor government.

Impulse Airlines

MR CORBELL: My question is directed to the Chief Minister. Last week the Chief Minister told the Assembly that Impulse Airlines had indeed missed a major milestone in its agreement with the government when it failed to establish its regional headquarters in Canberra, an initiative that was to have led to the government writing off $1 million of the $8 million it gave the airline in an incentive package. The Chief Minister told the Assembly that, instead, the airline would now build an office in the hangar that is to house its heavy engineering maintenance facility.

Is the Chief Minister aware of a radio report over the weekend that Impulse Airlines has, in fact, cancelled plans for its regional headquarters? In the negotiations between the government, Impulse and Qantas, how does the government propose to vary the milestones to account for this change of heart?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I will answer that. I have checked with the Chief Minister and he has not heard that report and neither have I.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

MR CORBELL: Will the Deputy Chief Minister endeavour to find out? My further supplementary question is: can the minister for business tell the Assembly how an office inside a hangar is worth $1 million, the write-off value of the original Impulse milestone, or is Qantas planning to establish a regional headquarters in Canberra?


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