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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 17 February 2005 2005) . . Page.. 580 ..


any way, think it is appropriate or plausible to suggest that, yes, two people disagreed with the decision ultimately taken; therefore, in some way, the decision was wrong.

Policing—failed prosecutions

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. I refer to page 5.75 of the 2005 Productivity Commission report into the efficiency of government services. It shows that the ACT has the highest costs per person awarded against the police in the nation at 66c per person. In simple terms, minister, “costs awarded against the police” is a measure of failed prosecutions. The rate of 66c per person is twice as high as that of the next highest jurisdiction, Victoria, and 2½ times the national average, which is 25c per person. Minister, why are the costs per person awarded against the police so much higher in the ACT than anywhere else in Australia?

MR HARGREAVES: As I understand it, Mrs Dunne is asking me to give an opinion on the reasons that the judiciary might award costs against the police. There is a range of reasons that that might be so.

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Hargreaves needs clarification of the question. The question was about why so many prosecutions fail, not why the judiciary awards costs against the police.

Mr Quinlan: Do they, or is it that they are just more expensive?

Mrs Dunne: No, it is a measure of failure of prosecutions.

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order, Mrs Dunne.

Mrs Dunne: No, it is a point of assistance, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Thanks for your help.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Dunne for her assistance, because her original question had nothing to do with the piece of assistance that she has just given to me. I will attempt to answer both of her questions. With respect to the amounts of money, my answer is that I have no capacity to read the minds of the judiciary and I do not propose to try here. With respect to why it is that prosecutions are not successful, I think that there is a variety of reasons. It should be remembered that the Productivity Commission report talks about the performance quite some time ago. In fact, I would suggest that the full effects of intelligence-led policing have not been felt throughout the prosecution system and in the judicial system.

As Mrs Dunne probably would know, because she is an expert in almost everything, the reasons for lack of success within the court process go down to the extent to which evidence is provided, the extent to which evidence is collected, the veracity of the evidence and the credibility of witnesses. In fact, I would suggest that she have a bit of a quiet chat with Mr Stefaniak over a Bex and a good lie down, because Mr Stefaniak probably knows better than most of us around here, being a former police prosecutor, of the—


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