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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (12 April) . .

Page.. 1373..


ongoing changes to the rating system for apartments. A 91-year-old war widow has advised she has been forced to cut back on heating, cooling and food to afford her rates. She said, "I did not expect that at the end of my life, living in this city would be so difficult." Treasurer, why are your rates policies making it increasingly more difficult for seniors to live in this city?

MR BARR: Of course, the financial circumstances of seniors will vary significantly, from those who have significant assets and income to those who do not. The government puts in place a range of measures to support those on low incomes and who have little or no assets.

MR MILLIGAN: Treasurer, why are Canberrans increasingly losing confidence in the fairness of your changes to the rates system?

MR BARR: I do not believe that is the case.

MS LEE: Treasurer, how many Canberrans are cutting back on heating, cooling, food and medicine because of your rates policies?

MR BARR: That is a question that would be very difficult to answer but the government can certainly do what we have done today—pass the second appropriation bill—to provide more support for those on the lowest incomes through an increase in concessions.

ACT Policing—resourcing

MISS C BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, on 10 April 2018, ABC News Online reported that armed robberies, home burglaries and car theft have "skyrocketed". In this report, Australian Federal Police Association President, Angela Smith, is quoted as saying, "I've got so many members who are out on stress leave who are suffering from severe PTSD and depression because they feel like they go to so many jobs that are intense, they are violent, there's not enough backup, there aren't enough people to help them." Minister, is your government's lack of support for ACT Policing harming the health of officers?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Burch for her question. We are supporting police even further every year. We are providing more resources for the ACT police to do their job on the road. Indeed, the AFP have a detailed wellness program within their service to provide an on-the-ground service for their employees. Each year we have been investing in new resources for the ACT police, including protection resources in last year's budget. And in last year's budget we invested $8.8 million in extra resources for the ACT to ensure that they can recruit and provide support for their members on the road.

MISS C BURCH: Minister, why then isn't there enough backup for front-line police officers?

MR GENTLEMAN: I do not agree with the premise of the question. I believe that there is support for our online police officers. As I have said, not only were we


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