Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 66..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
deal with some of the individual crowd behaviours that have led to some of the incidents that particularly impact on women and which demean women. To some extent, the government is the owner of the venue. But this is a commercial, private venture. It certainly does have government support and has previously received government financial support, but it is not a government event. Our capacity to ensure that some of the incidents do not re-occur really is not something that I can give personal undertakings on or undertakings on behalf of the government, other than to make the strong and repeated representations that I and the government have made in relation to this matter.
MS HUNTER: Considering your answer, Chief Minister, I wonder what mechanisms you might use to assess the effectiveness of measures to reduce unacceptable behaviour at Summernats.
MR STANHOPE: We assess on a number of bases of course, through observations and reports. Similarly, the minister for police I know has received, and will certainly again receive detailed briefings from ACT Policing in relation to their perspective.
In the context of the conversation or discussion around Summernats, I do recall being briefed, or at least having a conversation with the minister for police in relation to the police perspective on the Summernats which occurred at the start of this year. Despite the incidents that did occur at Summernats in January of this year, the police report in relation to crowd behaviour and behaviour that was against the law and in the context of civil order issues was that Summernats was an event that did not attract their particular attention. Essentially it was safe across the board in a broad sense; Summernats was conducted in a way which the police were not minded to criticise.
I think we need to take all of these things into account when we have a discussion around Summernats and the event. The police report of Summernats in January 2008 was essentially positive. It acknowledged that there were some incidents. There were some very high profile incidents, one of those involving a paid security guard. Certainly there was very high media coverage of incidents which occurred. But in an event which does involve 100,000 people, it would be remarkable if there were not some social order or civil order issues that came to the attention of the police.
Overall, the police were supportive of the way in which Summernats was controlled and the level of security that was provided. It was not an event which particularly attracted their attention this year. To be fair to Chic and to be fair to Summernats and not to demonise this event overly, we need to take some of those reports into account.
Mr Seselja: So leaked memos you do not need to do anything about? It is all right. The job is done.
MR STANHOPE: In the context of this particular event, we will take account of reports by the police, by our own regulatory authorities and by other observations and reports which we have of the event. Of course, I think Mr Henry and Summernats are mindful of the fact that there will be particularly close attention paid to Summernats this year, as there is every year. It is an event that attracts very close media scrutiny, as it should and as it will again this year.