Page 188 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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(d) over $11 million for expanded enabling services to support operational capacity;

(3) notes the ACT Government’s record investment of $33.9 million in ACT Policing in 2019-20;

(4) acknowledges that police numbers in the ACT continue to grow, with 98 new officers graduating in the past financial year;

(5) notes that the latest Report on Government Services from the Productivity Commission shows that:

(a) ACT Policing continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of the community; and

(b) Canberra residents feel safe with one of the highest levels of perceived safety in both the home and public places;

(6) notes that ACT Policing is exploring a range of modern ways the community can report incidents, crimes and other matters. This will be in addition to the existing reporting arrangements that include Triple Zero (000), police assistance phone lines (131 444), along with attendance at police stations;

(7) notes the following evidence provided by the Chief Police Officer to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety’s inquiry into the Annual and Financial Reports 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill 2020-2021 and Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2020-2021:

‘We talk about police numbers all the time. It is very difficult to compare the territory with any other jurisdiction in the country because our population is fairly compacted to a very small part of the territory. I always hear people talk about the numbers of police in a place like Tasmania. The fact is, it is three hours between their biggest cities—here it is literally 10 minutes and I can move patrols around very quickly.’; and

(8) calls on the ACT Government to continue resourcing ACT Policing as Canberra grows, in line with an evidence-based approach.”.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.50): I thank Mr Hanson for bringing this motion to the Assembly. However, I do not support the motion. I welcome and support Minister Gentleman’s amendment.

The ACT government has committed, and continues to commit, significant holistic investment in community safety. I want to acknowledge that we have a police force that work day and night and deserve enormous credit for the role they play in keeping our community safe. Compared with other Australian jurisdictions, the ACT is a comparatively safe place in which to live. We owe that to the strong social support, education and health systems and dedicated police force that we have.

I find Mr Hanson’s motion to be disingenuous and severely lacking in argument and evidence. Mr Hanson makes no argument about why he views New South Wales as the panacea of police numbers, let alone any mention of community safety outcomes. Perhaps it is because it is a Liberal state government. I do not know; that is my speculation.

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