Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1271..
to come in here and say that the police are not conducting themselves with absolute professionalism, because they are. Occasionally there will be errors of judgement. There will be difficult decisions that will be made that will be made in the heat of the moment and no doubt there will be evidence you can point to where it could have been done better. I think that is the nature of the very difficult job that police have.
What I will not be doing is engaging in this exercise that Mr Rattenbury wants, which is to hamstring our police, restrict their ability to keep our community safe and give a green light to anyone who wants to go out there, steal a car, drive recklessly and engage in behaviour that would increase traffic accidents, fatalities and critical injuries on our streets. We will not be supporting this referral. If Mr Rattenbury wants to pursue his policy then he is entitled to do that, but he will not be getting support from the Canberra Liberals.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.52), in reply: It is a shame that that is the outcome we have reached today. It is quite clear where the Assembly stands on this matter. I think Mr Hanson's speech has ably demonstrated exactly why we should have this committee inquiry. He has just stood here and repeated a whole series of assumptions which he openly said he has no evidence to support.
What I sought to do today, I think in a quite straight and serious way, was to bring in a series of facts which I think do beg questions in the community and which do warrant further examination. Make no mistake—and I said it in the very first paragraph of my speech—I have a particular view. I was perfectly up-front about that and I have been perfectly up-front on the public record. What I am trying to do is encourage my Assembly colleagues to look at the range of evidence that is available and to ensure a discourse in this place. The fact that Mr Hanson has such discomfort with that reflects much more on him than it does on my motivations in bringing this forward.
I am simply asking the Assembly to have a look at the range of evidence. I reject the insinuation from Mr Hanson about my desire for people to be able to operate with impunity—far from it. The debate I want to have is: what is the worst outcome? What level of risk is the community willing to bear in tracking down somebody who stole a car? Is it essential that we catch them at the exact moment or is it an acceptable outcome that the police, through all of their intelligence capability, might catch up with somebody 24 hours later and still charge them with the offence without the risk of a high-speed pursuit through our suburbs? That is a valid debate to have, because that is what the community needs to have a think about.
I hear what Mr Corbell said about the range of internal reviews that have been undertaken by the police and the various examinations that have taken place. I should say that in the remarks I was making I was endeavouring to reflect on the fact that I did not think there had been a significant public discourse on this. I accept that my words probably came out not quite reflecting that, so I clarify my position. I take on board what Mr Corbell said.
Nonetheless, I think it is important that we have a community debate to say: what is the right level of risk; is there a better way to do this? That is the conversation I want to have. I have cited today a range of studies from other jurisdictions. Contrary to the
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