Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (30 May) . . Page.. 1208..
MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):
ACT government's $28.7 million 2006-07 budget initiative to deploy 80 additional police to the ACT streets by 2008?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Yes, I am pleased to advise the Assembly that the initiative to roll out an additional 60 police officers that was funded in last year's budget on top of another 20 that had been funded in a previous government for the same period is now well underway. This will bring the total number of police recruited through funding by this government since our election in 2001 to 107 officers, which is one of the largest increases in community policing in the ACT since self-government.
The government provided just over $28 million in last year's budget to fund 60 additional police officers. That came on top of funding in the previous budget of an additional 10 officers funded for 2007-08 and an additional 10 in 2008-09. This coming financial year will see the single largest implementation in terms of police numbers from those budget initiatives. In 2007-08, 43 additional police will hit the ACT streets as a result of this government's funding commitments. I am pleased to say that the recruitment processes for these additional police are already well underway.
We already have two recruit intakes currently being trained at the AFP college in Barton. They will be dedicated resources for ACT community policing. That is 30 people undertaking those recruit training processes. They are expected to graduate in July this year; so in the next month or so.
The remaining 13 positions to be recruited and trained this year will be recruited through what is called a lateral intake process. That will be through the recruitment of police who are moving or who are from other jurisdictions. So this is a very significant increase in the number of police on the streets in the ACT.
I think it highlights, too, the hypocrisy of the Liberal Party's position when it comes to policing in the ACT. I recall that when we made the announcement of 60 additional police in last year's budget, the comment from a previous Liberal staffer was, "We thought it was a big deal—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR CORBELL: He worked for the Chief Minister of the time. He said, "We thought it was a big deal when had five extra police to announce in our budget. We thought it was a really big achievement and we sold it like nothing else."I am referring to the former media adviser to the former Chief Minister.
The government has delivered a really substantial commitment to ACT Policing—not five, not 10, not 15 or 20, but 60 extra police in last year's budget. And that comes on top of 20 funded in the previous budget. There will be 89 additional police by 2008, bringing the total to 107 extra police since 2003-04. That is a significant net gain. The net gain is 107 police. That brings the ACT Policing's establishment to 872, which is a significant increase. We know these police are needed and we are taking the steps and putting our money where our mouth is to deliver them.