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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1804 ..

community to look after itself because at the end of the day the community can best look after itself. Thanks, Mr Doszpot.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.01): I thank Mr Doszpot for bringing us this motion today which, of course, is a very important one. I commend him for his ongoing commitment to Neighbourhood Watch, particularly in the Tuggeranong Valley where he is a resident.

The Neighbourhood Watch Association has been a valuable part of the Canberra community for many years. In fact, Neighbourhood Watch recently celebrated its 25th birthday—25 years of active participation of many individuals in the pursuit of the prevention of crime in our suburbs. I and a number of members from the Assembly went to the celebratory dinner held in Woden.

The first public meeting of a group of like-minded individuals committed to preventing crime in their community was held in September 1984 in the southern suburb of Kambah, then one of the most distant southern suburbs. The group quickly grew to include suburb-specific groups and continued with the good old-fashioned notion of looking out for your neighbours. Twenty-five years on, Neighbourhood Watch has over 3,000 members in 45 areas across the territory, with growth in the Belconnen area continuing to be strong.

Neighbourhood Watch uses a number of initiatives to tackle the ongoing issue of crime prevention. These include education initiatives about safety and security, keeping an eye out for suspicious activity and crime, and promptly reporting anything out of the ordinary to police. Neighbourhood Watch also actively pursues improved communications between ACT police and the community. While the prevention of crime is the main aim of Neighbourhood Watch, working closely with ACT police to ensure our suburbs are protected from criminal activity remains a key priority as well.

Neighbourhood Watch also serves as a valuable conduit for the coordination of community events. Recent newsletter items in the Aranda-Cook newsletter, for example, include information of coming events like the Friends of Mount Painter working group gathering and also information on adult evening woodwork classes. The newsletter also provides tips for recycling and reminders of garbage collections. So the scope of their work goes well beyond the immediate issues of crime. It goes to linking the community together.

My colleagues have spoken today about the activities of Tuggeranong and Woden Neighbourhood Watch and I, as a member for Ginninderra, would particularly like to pay tribute to the many Neighbourhood Watch members in the Belconnen area. In particular, I join with my colleague Mrs Dunne in commending the district officers for Belconnen, Matthew Watts and David Ault. These groups continue to thrive due to the contribution of countless volunteers. I encourage all members here to get involved.

Once again, I commend the work done by all members of the organisation and I encourage the government to explore ways to better partner with Neighbourhood Watch. Working productively with Neighbourhood Watch adds to the effectiveness of the program and subsequently the safety of our community.

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