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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 508..

MS PORTER (continuing):

attack unions and union members. It is a little hard to swallow when the only holiday directly mentioned in WorkChoices is union picnic day. All other public holidays remain in the domain of states and territories, but not union picnic day. Under WorkChoices, union picnic day is under direct threat. A day for families is under direct threat by the Howard government. I understand that the Minister for Industrial Relations, Ms Gallagher, is doing all she can to ensure the future of the ACT union picnic day. I am pleased to see the ACT government is trying to protect this important day in the calendar of working families.

There has been a lot said in this place this afternoon about our wonderful police force. I relate three personal incidents that I have been involved in. Two that I have talked about before in this place are the burglaries, the thefts in my home, that I experienced prior to Christmas-about October and November-due to the fact, I believe, my dog was ill and then unfortunately died. We experienced these two break-ins.

I must say that the police were very prompt in their attention to us; they came very promptly. Forensics also came very promptly. At all times, they were very courteous, understanding and supportive. I have always held them in great esteem. I must say that my experience of those two break-ins reaffirmed how terrific our police are and how prompt they are to attend when there is a problem. Of course they did not know who I was because when we rang we did not use my name, we used my married name, which is not Porter.

In February, just last month, I was packing up after being at my mobile office at the Jamison shopping centre. In the evening, I was coming out through the back entrance and noticed a bit of a kerfuffle going on. I noticed a man who appeared to be intoxicated had a young man by the shirtfront and was violently shaking him and looked as though he was going to physically assault him. Some other young people were gathered around, were very agitated and were trying to intervene. Some adults were saying; "Please sit down. Do not intervene. This man appears to be very dangerous."

The man was accusing a young boy of throwing a bottle at his window. Whether he did or whether he did not, I have no idea. As I walked out, a woman said, "We had better ring the police."This was all happening in front of me. She dialled triple-0. I only had an opportunity to say who I was, introduce myself to the people standing there and speak to the young people and say, "Yes. Please sit down and just wait. The police are on their way."

Within the space of those few minutes, two police vehicles arrived. One was a van; the other was an ordinary police car. Four police persons got out of those vehicles and attended to that disturbance immediately, quietened the man down, were able to restrain him and speak to the young people that were involved. I was amazed how quickly they arrived on the scene once that triple-0 call had been made; it was instantaneous. I was so impressed about the way they responded and the way they were able to deal with that situation.


DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.14): It is a great day for women today, International Women's Day. Perhaps the brightest bit of hope on the horizon is the Treasurer's line,

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