Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2870..
MR WOOD: I will check that.
Mr Smyth: Oh, now you will check.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR WOOD: I am talking about police numbers here.
Mr Smyth: No, no, you said "budget".
MR WOOD: Oh, okay, well budgets go up with CPIs; that is inevitable, but we provided significant additional real resources. That is what we did. There is no question about that. When you stand up and say that there is a problem with police numbers, that we should have provided more police, I think you have a hide because you simply do not want to take note of the fact that you did not do anything at all about police numbers. To repeat-because it bears repeating-when police went off to East Timor, our numbers dropped to a very low level, the lowest ever.
I remember Mrs Dunne at one Estimates Committee last year saying, "My, that is high", when she was given the number of police at that time. The number was high and it will not always stay at that level, although that is the level at which it remains at the moment.
MR STEFANIAK: Minister, why should the community believe that you are meeting your election promises when the AFPA believes that you hold it in contempt?
MR WOOD: They can believe us because they can see what we are doing. They can see that we have added numbers to policing when you did not do that. There were two clear components of that assurance back in 2001, and we are holding to them. We are moving towards that national average and specifying how we would do that, which was by moving roughly three lots of seven-I think there was a six in there somewhere-as we headed in that direction.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Wood has the floor.
MR WOOD: We carried through that very specific approach. What we have done further, as a result of an agreement between me and the Australian Federal Police, is develop a study to look at the management of police resources and the management of the agreement-it is called an arrangement-between the Australian Federal Police and the ACT government for the provision of services. That arrangement was signed last time by Mr Humphries when he was police minister.
We are having a careful look at that and that includes looking at how our circumstances in the ACT compare with circumstances in other jurisdictions to clearly identify the need here. We are taking very positive steps in respect of police management, something that you people did not do.