Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 513..
Following a request from the Queensland Red Cross, ACT ESA has provided support to Queensland through the provision of specialist mapping support-MAPS volunteers as they are known-as part of their major incident management team. Our MAPS volunteers have undertaken four deployments. A total of nine volunteers have been sent to Queensland to assist the Queensland Red Cross in the development and distribution of various mapping and other geospatial information products that are used by Red Cross and other emergency services on the ground. Deployments of our volunteers commenced on 5 February this year and they will actually cease this evening, on 21 February.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to and give my thanks for the work of our mapping volunteers. They are often unsung volunteers in our emergency services but they, just like our volunteer firefighters and SES personnel, give up their time to lend their expertise as mapping specialists to support other jurisdictions in a time of emergency. It is a capability unique to the ACT, it is one that is highly regarded across Australia and it is frequently called upon by other jurisdictions when it comes to a response in an emergency. I commend our mapping volunteers and thank them for the very important work that they continue to do.
MR HARGREAVES: Minister, what steps are taken in the ACT to ensure volunteers are appropriately trained to carry out their vital work?
MR CORBELL: In relation to our mapping and planning support volunteers, we have a range of training provided to them. For example, they have recently undertaken a specialist two-day course, which is undertaken every year, that covers all the duties they would be required to perform for all hazards. We also have been encouraging our MAPS volunteers to attend the Australasian interservice incident management, AIIMS, training annually to give them skills in the incident management framework that is used across emergency services. We also make other training such as first aid available to our volunteers.
MR SESELJA: The Sunday Canberra Times on 19 February 2012 reports that Civic has the highest number of reported assaults in the ACT. Given the high level of violence in Civic, how are police officers in this violent environment protected?
MR CORBELL: The level of violent crime in the Civic area is of course decreasing and has been decreasing significantly since the introduction of new liquor licensing laws. The number of alcohol-related arrests, the number of offences committed due to alcohol-related matters, has significantly declined over the last 12 months. But, regrettably, we still see these incidences of violence occur against our police.
The government is providing a range of resources and support to help police and protect police as they undertake this very important job. For example, we are providing more police on the beat. So, as a result of the new liquor licensing laws and the new fee structure that comes with it, those fees are paying for additional police to be on the beat in our alcohol crime targeting team every Friday and Saturday night in