Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1437..
MR MULCAHY: Thank you, Mr Speaker and thank you, Chief Minister. Chief Minister, why did the government not receive a formalised contract or at least a memorandum of understanding from the Australian government in relation to the costs of the event given that your discussions occurred prior to the caretaker period at the federal level?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Mulcahy for the question. I must say that, with the benefit of hindsight and having regard to the change of government and perhaps a loss of corporate memory or understanding and the fact that Dr Shergold is no longer the secretary to the Prime Minister's department, I have reflected that it would have been far more clinical and cleaner and clearer today if we had had a contract.
I regret the absence of a contract at this stage. It certainly affects our negotiating position with the new government and new head of the Prime Minister's department. But I have put the position. I must say—perhaps I am a bit old fashioned—that I have proceeded through life, indeed, within government on the basis or the assumption that a deal is a deal; an understanding is an understanding; a handshake is a handshake.
The ACT government, through the Chief Executive of the Chief Minister's Department has an understanding with the secretary to the Prime Minister's department. If governments cannot deal with governments in an expectation that a deal or an arrangement arrived at through consultation and negotiation will be honoured, then we are in a very sorry state.
The ACT government has an understanding, an arrangement between the chief—the most senior public service official of the ACT government—and the most senior official within the commonwealth government at officer level, and I have proceeded through my 30-something or other years in public life on the basis that when a head of a department comes to an agreement or arrangement with another head of a department in another government, those arrangements are always honoured.
It will be a sad and sorry day if we have arrived at a position where the two most senior public servants in the ACT, namely, the head of the ACT government and the head of the commonwealth government cannot come to an agreement and then actually have to produce the contract in order to ensure that it is honoured. That would be a sad and sorry day or outcome.
Crime—burglary and motor vehicle
MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, what is the situation in the ACT in relation to rates of burglary and car theft?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. I welcome the question because there are very pleasing developments in relation to rates of burglary and car theft here in the ACT. Indeed, the number of offences has dropped significantly since 2003. Burglary, at the end of 2007, was at its lowest level for 10 years, and motor vehicle theft has been reduced by over 30 per cent since 2003. Data from the last tabled Department of Justice and Community Safety criminal justice statistical profile
show that, over the longer term, the reports of burglary offences represented the