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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3218..


MR BARR (continuing):

point, but in the end the question on the fundamental issue around the refurbishment of the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong is: do we want the job done right and do we want to ensure that public safety is not compromised? The answer, clearly, is: yes, we want the job done right, and we are prepared to take a little longer to ensure that the sorts of problems that were occurring in that pool, with tiles popping out of place and having the potential to cause significant issues for public safety, do not occur and that we get the right tiles in place. If that means importing them and taking the advice of an experienced project manager who has delivered pools that include ones used for the Commonwealth Games then I think we will take his advice over that of Mr Smyth on this issue.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what compensation will be provided to swimming clubs to make up for the unexpected cost of the additional three months of closure? How much will be provided and what will be the source of these funds?

MR BARR: The government, through Sport and Recreation Services, has been meeting with and advising each of the stakeholder groups, including, of course, the operators of the facility, around the delay. There are further meetings to take place throughout this week. I have indicated that, given the extra delay, it is appropriate that compensation be given to those organisations which are disadvantaged, and I will take further advice on the size of that compensation once these particular meetings have occurred.

Emergency services—response times

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, what impact has the additional resources provided to ACT Policing by the ACT Labor government had on response times?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. I am very pleased to report to the Assembly that for the first time since the implementation of a policing contract with the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Federal Police have effectively met all of their response times when it comes to calls for assistance from the Canberra community. This is a very important step forward. For the first time, we are seeing police meet their response times for all four categories of calls—priorities 1, 2 3 and 4.

What is particularly pleasing is that this has come about because the ACT Labor government has put more police on the beat than ever before. We have funded 122 extra police. That means that the police have been able to put a third shift on at critical times throughout the week and we are now seeing excellent response times.

In relation to priority 1, tier 1, which is the highest priority of calls, we expect 60 per cent of those calls to be responded to in terms of police attendance within eight minutes. I am pleased to say that in 2006-07 the response times were 80 per cent of those calls within eight minutes. In the most recent period, 2007-08, for the quarter concerned, it is over 80 per cent.


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