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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3926..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

some control sites to allow a comparison to be made between ungrazed and grazed areas and to determine environmental and fire impacts.

As a consequence, I directed Environment ACT to cease all work at Cooleman Ridge until I sought further advice. On the basis of that advice, I propose to ask Environment ACT to proceed with grazing at Cooleman Ridge.

Policing

MR PRATT (3.16): I move:

That the Assembly notes that:

(1) while ACT Policing is one of this country's most effective police forces, well led and well trained, its performance is clearly beginning to decline;

(2) there has been an increase in community complaints about lack of police response to emergency and assistance calls;

(3) there has also been an increase in community complaints about delayed police response times to emergency and assistance calls;

calls on the Government to:

(4) enhance resource management procedures that will ease the decline in performance;

(5) increase the number of 'beat police officers' in Canberra;

(6) develop and implement a community policing plan that significantly increases physical police presence in Canberra suburbs; and

(7) ensure that front line police are properly resourced and not diverted to administration duties.

We have an excellent community police force-one of the best in the country and one of the best in the Western world. That force, which was founded on sound principles, is unencumbered by the historical baggage that was carried by some other jurisdictional police forces. Generally speaking, our policemen and policewomen, who are well travelled, have witnessed the despairs and tragedies of other international communities. More experienced members and officers probably have a much broader sense of what is fair, reasonable and just and what is police best practice. Because of that strong, international experience, I believe that the values of tolerance and patience are well embedded in our force.

We cannot forget the fine performance of our police during the January 2003 fires and their aftermath. We will not forget the selfless behaviour of our police at Eucumbene Drive, for example, when confronted, almost unexpectedly, by the hell of that fire. With vehicle tyres on fire and little sensible information coming to them from the Emergency Services Bureau, they risked their lives to save others. I had the honour of meeting police officers at various levels and being briefed by them-in some detail and in a most open


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