Page 3459 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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It was about the opportunities that working in that tri-service approach presented in terms of dealing with people who, again, are often having a pretty bad day in their own lives.

I welcome the way that has been embraced by ACT Policing and their openness to innovation, their openness to doing things differently and their openness to recognising the limitations of their own training, and the way that a police officer turning up to a situation can impact on someone who is having a mental health crisis.

It is about recognising that there is a time when—and it is often their approach—police really need to stand back. But the capability is there if the situation perhaps gets out of control or gets violent. I really value the way that the police members of those teams have played their part in that project that has done a great job for Canberrans.

Being mindful of the rest of the programming that we have to get through today and the fact that others have already spoken, I will leave my remarks there. I do want to take this opportunity, given the role I have as Attorney-General particularly, and in my role as the leader of the Greens, to acknowledge the contribution that members of our police force make in this city, the very diverse set of roles that they undertake, and the diverse set of circumstances in which they find themselves.

As I observed in last week’s budget debate, there is also a diversity of views within ACT Policing. Often, in these public debates—and we see it in the newspaper—“Police say this,” and “Police say that.” That is in fact often a representation of the union’s views. I think it also reflects that, as with any segment of the community, there is a diversity of views within ACT Policing, on a range of policy questions. That is something I am always mindful of, as we seek to work through what can be contested discussions. As I said last week, it is possible to have contested discussions while still respecting the role that ACT Policing have to play.

I am very pleased to speak in support of this motion today and to have this opportunity for the Assembly to recognise the difficult job that ACT Policing have and the manner in which they conduct it.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.03), in reply: I would like to thank all of those that spoke, from the Labor Party and the Greens, and who supported this motion today. I am delighted. Mr Rattenbury, you are right; it is a contested debate, in this space, and there are different views, I think it is very important that we, as an Assembly, can get together and thank our frontline police.

I certainly recall, after serving in Iraq, which was a controversial war that was contested in the community, that people said, “I don’t agree with the Iraq war but I thank you for your service.” It does provide you with a lot of comfort. We can hope that, with respect to today’s debate, even though we have some rigorous debates in this place about a variety of issues, whether it is legislation, drug policy and so on, we can all come together and commend our frontline police.

Minister Steel, as the acting minister, I thank you for your comments. Mr Braddock, I was expecting to have to respond to something controversial that you had said, so

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