Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 2012 ..
Emergency services—government support
MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, how is the ACT government helping to keep our growing community safe by supporting our police and emergency services personnel?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for his interest in community safety. Last week I was pleased to announce that the 2018-19 budget will be investing in various measures aimed at ensuring that our police and emergency services personnel receive the support they require. This will ensure that Canberrans can continue to enjoy a safe community.
In order to do this, ACT Policing will be recruiting for six more specialist positions, and Fire & Rescue will recruit 18 new firefighters to keep our growing city safe. The recruitment of these 18 new firefighters delivers on the government's commitment to ACT Fire & Rescue to replace retiring firefighters.
Canberra's firefighters do not just help out in putting out fires. They also respond to a range of other emergencies, from car accidents to power outages. This is in addition to the police officers previously funded in the 2016-17 ACT budget and the December 2017 announcement to deliver 23 more paramedics to the ACT Ambulance Service.
Another way that we will be supporting our police and emergency services is by providing equipment and technology that helps these personnel to better serve their community in new and innovative ways. I congratulate the work that our emergency services front-line personnel do in the ACT.
MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the ACT government supporting emergency services personnel to do their job safely and effectively?
MR GENTLEMAN: As mentioned earlier, through the 2018-19 budget the ACT government will be investing further in our police by providing six new specialist positions to provide support and to effectively prevent and fight crime. Four of these new specialist positions will be dedicated to expanding ACT Policing's strategic analysis capability and to helping to identify and target crime hot spots and emerging risks.
Another two specialist officers will be recruited to combat organised crime, strip criminal wealth and deliver an improved surveillance capability to monitor the activities of criminal gangs. The 2018-19 ACT budget will also aim to use our resources effectively and invest in new smartphone equipment for all officers to improve operations.
This will allow police officers to do more of their work while mobile and spend more time in the community. Having a greater police presence within our community allows officers to better keep Canberra safe. We are delighted that we are able to use technology to achieve this. These strategic investments in upgraded technology and intelligence-led policing will help ensure that even as our city grows it will remain the safest city in Australia.