Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 November 2022) . . Page.. 3990 ..
city-state such as Canberra versus, for example, the Northern Territory or country New South Wales, where a police station might be hours drive from the next station? They are meaningless comparisons and totally out of context with what the policing service is providing.
As the minister has mentioned, the CPO has been quoted in annual reports hearings on the ability to move patrols easily from one side of the city to another in order to be able to respond effectively; hence, the value of such comparisons is very limited. Therefore, we understand that the ability to deliver services needs to take into account the unique context of the policing service that is being provided. Therefore, fair cop, Mr Hanson: we agree that you have provided the RoGS statistics, but they have failed to actually provide the story.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.22): Thanks, Mr Hanson, for your motion today calling on Mr Gentleman to correct the record, because earlier in the day he claimed that the ACT is not the lowest funded police force in the country. Mr Gentleman has told us what he meant when he said that—he said it for these reasons—and explained why he said it. The fact remains that he said that it is not the lowest funded police force in the country. The RoGS data—the statistics, the facts—clearly show it is, and we often talk about having the lowest number of police per capita et cetera.
Mr Gentleman has put to us that this is a complex issue. It is affected by the geography and the closer distances here in the ACT, but let’s stick to the facts: Mr Gentleman said that the ACT is not the lowest funded police force in the country. The fact is that it is. That is all this motion is saying. Mr Gentleman is trying to muddy the waters with a whole lot of explanations and becauses and whys and wherefores. The motion says that he should correct the record and apologise to the Assembly for claiming that the ACT is not the lowest funded police force in the country. RoGS data applies to many things across many aspects of the territory’s work, as well as other states and territories.
We can argue in many ways that sometimes they are not directly applicable or comparable, but they are the facts. They are bald statistics, and that is the point of Mr Hanson’s motion today: “Mr Gentleman has said this, which is incorrect.” We are asking him to correct the record and apologise to the Assembly. It is quite simple. It is quite straightforward and quite clear. I commend Mr Hanson’s motion to the Assembly.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (5.24), in reply: There are clearly two different debates happening here at the moment. One is from the Liberals, who have pointed out from the evidence—from the authoritative source: the RoGS data—that we are the lowest funded police force on every measure, be it in absolute terms or in per capita terms. That is in black and white, so that is the point. What we have heard from Mr Gentleman and from Mr Braddock is why that is the case. Now, it may be justifiable; they can argue that case. They can say, “This is why,” but they cannot argue about the numbers that are in black and white—the numbers come from every budget in every parliament—and then say, “We are going to spin our way out of this.”
Members, are we going to be so loose with the truth—and that is what is happening here—that Mr Gentleman can just say anything and what the Productivity