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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2647..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Another important factor constantly under review is that taxation legislation is practical to administer, with efficient compliance costs for both government and the taxpayer. The government is also committed to protecting revenue by minimising the impact on ACT tax leakages, evasion and avoidance through effective legislation and regulatory measures. I might observe that the original report was produced by the PAC, chaired by Mr Smyth. It is worthy of note that it has no benchmarks, no KPIs, no time lines and, in fact, no positive suggestions but simply a stream of questions for government. It fits under the heading of, "They should do something."

Papers

Ms Gallagher presented the following paper:

Pursuant to section 96D of the Occupational Health and Safety Act the quarterly performance report on the operation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 and its associated law for the period 1 January to 31 March 2004.

Mr Wood presented the following paper:

An out-of-order petition from 541 residents requesting free parking at suburban shopping centres in the ACT and, in particular, the Dickson shops.

Police numbers

Discussion of a matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Mr Pratt proposing that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion, namely:

The state of police numbers in the ACT.

MR PRATT (3.10): Today I would like to speak about an issue that is at the top of everyone's mind-the state of police numbers in the ACT. The ACT has an excellent police force. I would say-and most professional observers would also say-it is one of the best in the country. I have said this before and I will say it again: the men and women of ACT Policing do the best job they possibly can under the current structure and funding imposed upon them by the Labor government.

However, there are many elements of ACT Policing that can be greatly improved-at no fault of the police force. The police, through their own imagination and professionalism, have made changes to try and keep pace with the changing crime profile. But the profile and confidence in ACT Policing over the past few years, in its ability to protect the community and respond to crime, has greatly declined.

Unlike the Labor government, the Liberal opposition is greatly concerned about the safety of the Canberra community, especially more vulnerable groups such as the elderly and the young. The level of concern in the community about criminal activity has been consistently, if gently, rising for some two years. A number of spectacular robberies involving violence and some unfortunate deaths have clearly fuelled these concerns. Concern about crime, so evident in the Canberra Times over the last seven months, is but one example of the demonstration of consistent community feedback.


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