Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3249..
MRS BURKE (continuing):
redevelopment plans to ensure, as indicated by your government, that reconstruction will commence on the site at Stromlo as soon as possible after the 2003 bushfires?
MR STANHOPE: We have not been stalling at all. The government's response is that the needs of the residents of Stromlo village have always been uppermost in our planning and priorities. It is a major priority for the Chief Minister's Department, for the Land Development Agency and for ACTPLA. There have been tremendous levels of cooperation between all agencies and indeed with the NCA and the commonwealth government, including the Department of Defence, which is a neighbour. That was the issue I referred to earlier in relation to some of the issues about the site of the Stromlo village.
There has been no stalling at all. There is a whole range of quite complex issues around the availability and ownership of the land and there is a whole range of planning issues. It is a top priority for the government and, as I just indicated, progress has been substantial. It is getting to the stage now where contracts will, I think within the very near future, be let for the construction of homes.
MS PORTER: My question is directed to the Chief Minister. There has been recent comment in the media about crime in Civic and elsewhere in Canberra. Can you tell the Assembly if there is evidence to back assertions that crime is on the increase?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for the question. It is a very important question. I am very pleased that the most recent Australian Federal Police statistics do not support the assertion that violence is on the increase in Canberra. In fact, they do the opposite. I am happy to give members details of the latest crime statistics for the Australian Capital Territory.
I will deal first with assaults, that is, acts intended to cause injury. In June 2005, assaults were 14 per cent lower than they were in March 2005. The year-to-date comparison shows a five per cent fall, with 1,860 assaults reported from September 2004 to June 2005 and 1,900 assaults reported between September 2003 and June 2004.
Sexual assaults dropped to 50 in June 2005 from 59 in March 2005, a 15 per cent fall. Year-to-date comparisons show a decrease of 14 per cent in sexual assaults. Burglary and break and enter offences for June 2005 increased by eight per cent, but the year-to-date comparisons show a fall of 24 per cent. Robbery decreased by 17 per cent in June and the year-to-year comparisons show a decrease of 15 per cent.
Motor vehicle thefts increased by 24 per cent in the March quarter, but the year-to-year comparisons show a 20 per cent decrease for the year ending June 2005. Property damage and arson decreased by 16 per cent in the June 2005 quarter. The year-to-year comparison reports a drop of seven per cent in property damage. Weapons offences decreased by 12.5 per cent in the March quarter and year-to-year comparisons show a drop of three per cent.
It is very pleasing that the year-to-year comparisons for each of the major indicators of crime, assault, sexual assault, burglary, break and enter, robbery, motor vehicle theft,