Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 4 Hansard (15 March) . . Page.. 1002..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
Mr Speaker, this is a popular theme-of reporting unfairly, criticising the police for perceived inaction. This is not the case. I have had a number of conversations with senior police officers about this issue. The information I have received is this: the police have supported, and will continue to support, members of the community and visitors who wear their badges or any other item of clothing. I must emphasise that the issue of wearing patches in not a new one. It was factored into the risk planning for the Ulysses event. Police intelligence and planning well in advance of the event placed them in a very confident position to address any incidents that could reasonably be anticipated. Police ensured strong and open lines of communication with all parties, and they were established and maintained well before the event.
Canberra, by virtue of its status as the national capital, attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually to major events such as Floriade and Summernats. The capital also hosts a range of heads of state and high-level business meetings. The planning elements of ACT Policing responsible for coordinating and producing the operational plans to ensure these sorts of major events are staged with the appropriate level of security and safety measures are professional, highly experienced and extremely well versed in contemporary counterterrorism methodology.
The Canberra community generally, including the media, is often unaware of the resources that are poured into major event planning, often many months in advance of the actual occasion. That is the way it needs to be in a climate where information, intelligence and preparedness are crucial to the overall success and security of the event. Whether it is a Brumbies or a Raiders match, New Year's Eve celebrations, SkyFire or Summernats, there are a host of factors that police planning operators consider when formulating their operational plan.
Mr Speaker, it is disappointing that such negative publicity was generated for motorcycling in the ACT and the police force. For the record, 5,000 motorcyclists travelled to Canberra without a single arrest requiring to be made by the police. I believe this is due to good planning, preparation and policing. I might also add, finally, that there were no incidents reported to police where people were prepared to stand up and give those facts to police and then say they would go to court to do it.
Mrs Dunne: I wonder why.
MR HARGREAVES: I will remind the vacuous Mrs Dunne that-
MR SPEAKER: Direct you comments through the chair.
MR HARGREAVES: there was, in fact, action taken by the police against an outlaw motorcycle gang only recently, which resulted in two people being put before the courts.
MR PRATT: Minister, given what actually did happen, if you cannot ensure that police are in charge of policing the Rebels on the relatively minor issues of bullying and intimidation, how can you assure your community that you are serious in tackling the outlaw motorcycle gangs' organised crime impacting on Canberra and the region?