Page 189 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

I have reviewed the Australian Productivity Commission’s 2022 Report on Government Services, and specifically policing, that Mr Hanson has quoted. In 2020-21 New South Wales had 244 operational staff per 100,000 people in the state. We had 219, so that is 25 less per 100,000. For non-operational staff New South Wales had 23 per 100,000; we have 31. We have eight more non-operational staff per 100,000 than New South Wales.

Overall, if you add these numbers up, in terms of a direct state comparison of full-time police staff, the ACT has 17 fewer positions than New South Wales per 100,000. This is not the hundreds of missing police that Mr Hanson states. Mr Assistant Speaker, to give you some context beyond the mere numbers alone, it is worth pointing out that we only have a few hundred thousand people and all are concentrated in one distinct area. New South Wales has a city of millions of people and a vast geographic landscape.

Mr Hanson also points out the recurrent expenditure on police services since 2016. If Mr Hanson actually looked at the figures, he would see that the investment in New South Wales is not in the numbers of police. In fact, New South Wales has had an increase in recent years, from 2016, of five police per 100,000 residents. In the ACT over the same period we have doubled that number. We have seen an increase of 10 per 100,000 in Canberra.

Again, let us look at the Productivity Commission’s numbers, this time in terms of police responsiveness. The Productivity Commission states that the responsiveness of police to calls for assistance is critical to the effectiveness of police services. The New South Wales Police Force reports the number of urgent—imminent threat to life or property—response calls, and the percentage attended was 75 per cent within the targeted time of 12 minutes. ACT Policing report response times for priority 1 critical incidents are 80 per cent within 10 minutes. I know which jurisdiction I would rather live in. In the ACT you will get a police officer to a critical incident two minutes faster than anywhere else in Australia.

Perhaps Mr Hanson’s motion is all about politics. If Mr Hanson genuinely wanted to see an increase in police resources and an increase in community safety, he would not trot out the same motion and the same lines over and over again. He would look for new arguments, for innovation in policing and for evidence-based community safety initiatives. But Mr Hanson does not do that. Instead, he puts forward the same rhetoric, and I see how this rhetoric plays out in our community. Mr Hanson and I live in the safest part of Canberra, yet that is not the perception on the ground. Mr Hanson fuels perceptions for political gain. He plays on people’s fears, and this significantly undermines the work that police do in our electorate of Murrumbidgee.

I am proud to be part of a Labor-Greens government where the issue of community safety is genuine and broad, with its focus on diverting people away from the criminal justice system and reducing recidivism. I am proud to work with a minister who is supporting and innovating our ACT police force. Thank you, Minister Gentleman, for your leadership in this area.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video