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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 2591..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

'Towards 2020' also puts the capacity of Gilmore Primary at 625 by including four double demountables that are not used...

They are hardly useable and only remain on site as storage for the Department of Education and Training. The comments continue:

In addition, the figure of 625 was reached before the maximum class sizes for different year groups was reduced by the ACT Government meaning they are calculated at 30 or 31 a class.

I could start to collate many examples of inaccuracies for the minister. By suggesting that all nominated schools are suffering falling enrolments and carrying massive excess capacity, the government is attacking the level of support that they would have. That is why it is important to correct the record. In light of these corrections of the minister's mistakes—and there are many more that could be pointed out, and parents and constituents have pointed them out—he would gain more respect if he admitted them and corrected them.

Policing—international experience

Vietnam veterans

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (6.11): There are two subjects. The first is the international deployment group and the AFP. It has been announced that $500 million will be provided by the federal government to boost the IDG. I note, and the house should take note, that most police unions around the country have expressed concern that, with the creation of this IDG, there will be a drain of capability from many state police forces. They are right. Mark Burgess, from the Police Federation of Australia, said:

While we cautiously support what is being said, our major concern is what it will mean to the resourcing of the state and territory police. To increase the numbers that they're proposing, it's only going to be done if they can second or recruit state police officers.

That is the point. Because our policemen look for international experience, they are going to be attracted to the recruitment. We already have a dearth of experienced constables and sergeants in the ACT police service. We know that. The joint police study, belatedly tabled after the estimates hearings, tells us that our police station teams are understaffed in terms of police team leadership. The concern I have is that we are going to lose police. I do not know quite what the answer is, but I would like to see the federal government sit down with state governments and come to some cooperative arrangement on how they fund, boost, train and recruit police for the international deployment group without draining the state and territory forces.

There is a need for an IDG. Australia is deeply committed in its area of influence and too often now the burden falls on our defence forces to provide what really are gendarmerie or police force operational services in some of these particular places. We need an IDG but it cannot be at the expense of state forces.

The last thing I would like to quickly mention is this: I echo the comments made by Mr Stefaniak about the commemorations and celebrations for the Vietnam veterans last


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