Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 2118..
MR RATTENBURY (continuing):
measured against the rate of reported attacks. The Greens welcome the extra resources going to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Government Solicitor. The staff in these offices perform what are often incredibly difficulty, vitally important and highly stressful duties. Hopefully, this funding will help take some of the pressure off them and enable the officers to retain and recruit experienced staff.
It is good to see some recognition that actually monitoring and operating CCTV cameras is an essential component of their effectiveness in protecting personal safety. Given that the deficiencies in the system have been known by the government since 2005, when the Chief Minister received a report on CCTV cameras, it is disappointing that the situation has been allowed to continue whereby those cameras are often not monitored and are apparently often not even operating. With similar qualifications, I welcome the belated retrofitting of the court transport unit vehicle so that detainees can actually be observed while they are confined in the vehicle.
Finally, on emergency services the Greens also welcome the ongoing funding for the community fire units and the expansion of this program over the next four years. It is crucial, as we have been so recently reminded, to ensure that our community remains fire alert and trained as to how best respond at a time of fire emergency.
It is important that governments do not lower their investment in fire preparedness in response to the apparent risk having diminished. As we all know, the risk is unpredictable but it is, unfortunately, only likely to get higher. It is to be hoped that the extra funding for communications systems for the ESA will finally deliver a product that enables teams in the field to obtain real-time information as they need it and to communicate with each other and with other services. The Victorian fire tragedy has really highlighted yet again the need for different services at all levels to be able to establish and maintain communications on a 24-7 basis.
With those comments, I, together with my Greens colleagues, very much look forward to the estimates process, to drilling down into some of the details. As budget first-timers, it is a bit surprising how little information there is in some of the budget papers, and I look forward to the estimates process.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (4.22): Earlier today we heard from the Leader of the Opposition in his reply to the budget what we assume are the full fruits of six months of strenuous effort on the part of the opposition. It was six months worth of dedicated visionary effort revealed in the Leader of the Opposition's 40-minute response. It was the Liberal Party's strategy, detailing how it would deal with the global financial crisis, its strategy for dealing with the deficit that has been foisted on this government and other governments as a result of a decline in revenues—in our case, of $1.1 billion over the next four years.
Reflecting on the speech made by the Leader of the Opposition—the alternative budget, the alternative vision, the alternative strategy—the mind simply boggles. Mr Seselja let the truth slip this morning on Ross Solly's program on Triple 6 when he admitted that the Liberals had only turned their minds to their own plan for