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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 510..


Criminal behaviour in Campbell and Erindale, and at the Canberra show

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (6.19): Today the Chief Minister ran a motion in here about policing matters and asked that certain proofs, documents and information be produced. I have today tabled a document about the interviews that I have had with the-

Members interjecting-

MR PRATT: May I get a word in here, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR PRATT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Talking to the circumstances surrounding that, which of course the Chief Minister and his colleagues over there sought to gag, given that they made the primary allegation against me anyway, you would have thought they would have liked to have heard what I had to say. But no, they had to gag that. Let us talk about those issues. I spoke to the families involved. I have also talked by telephone with the shopkeepers involved in other incidents. All the information relating to the discussion with the family in the main incident has been passed across to the house.

Our reports on police failures to respond to the triple-0 call in that particular Campbell incident are based on reports that we received from the families and other witnesses. I highlight the point made by Mr Smyth this afternoon: the families and the victims of those incidents are still waiting to be allowed to make their statements. It is some 11 days now since that particular incident.

The operatic performance by the Chief Minister here today is typical of the-head-in-the-sand response by a Chief Minister who is feeling rather guilty, I would put to you, about his government's failings on policing and community safety and his failures to support our police to be able to do the job. The incidents that we have reported in this place and that we have asked questions about in this place, based on the reports to Mr Smyth and me from the people involved, go to the heart of that particular issue. The only defence the Chief Minister has got left is to accuse the opposition of police bashing. It is so easy to twist everything which is said in this place. If we criticise government policy on policing, that is misconstrued and twisted by the government as supposedly police bashing. If it makes them comfortable and they can live more quietly with that, so be it.

I, too, am waiting for Mr Hargreaves to table all of his documents relative to these issues so that we can get to the bottom of these issues, which the Chief Minister has said today he wants to do. He wants to get to the bottom of it.

Mr Quinlan this afternoon said that we were dramatising the issue for political gain. That is rubbish. We are representing a deep community concern which reflects a general trend of behaviour which police are having trouble with. Mr Quinlan and the Chief Minister referred to accusations that we had talked about rampaging gangs running riot. That is not true. Of the two questions that I am looking at from yesterday, one said:


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