Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 26 September 2019) . . Page.. 3967 ..
MR GENTLEMAN: We are investing in our police force to disrupt crime in the ACT. In each of the budget years, last year and this year, there have been larger resources, investments, put into ACT Policing to disrupt criminal activities, and it is working. ACT police have done a fantastic job of not only crime disruption but also of arresting and prosecuting people who do unlawful things in the ACT, including unlawfully growing marijuana.
MRS JONES: Minister, what calculations have you made of the extra cost or extra resources needed to prevent the trafficking of cannabis from legal growing in Canberra to illegal markets in Sydney?
MR GENTLEMAN: We invest in our local police force and they calculate the resources they need to combat crime in the territory, unlike those opposite who voted against those resources in the last two budgets.
MRS JONES: My question is to the minister for police. I refer to the front page of today’s Daily Telegraph with the headline “The joint’s gone mad”. The article states:
ACT chief police officer Ray Johnson previously warned the laws would make the territory “more attractive to organised crime groups as a place to grow cannabis for both internal and external markets” as well as removing the risk to “crop sitters” who grow weed for outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Minister, what particular resources have been made available to monitor and prevent crop-sitters for organised crime operating in the ACT under the new laws?
MR GENTLEMAN: I do not believe that that is what the CPO did say. In fact, trafficking still remains a crime.
MRS JONES: Minister, what communication or advice have you received from Taskforce Nemesis about the implications of these laws?
MR GENTLEMAN: I not only have had communications with Taskforce Nemesis on their ongoing work to combat crime in the ACT but I spent a morning with them at Winchester Police Centre going over the operations they have been conducting in the past 12 months. Thanks to the investment that this government has made in Taskforce Nemesis over a number of years there have been quite successful operations across the ACT disrupting crime, arresting criminals and charging them.
MR HANSON: Minister, how do these laws or other pertinent laws prevent persons from being crop sitters for outlaw motorcycle gangs or other organised crime gangs?
MR GENTLEMAN: The particular debate yesterday was not about laws on criminal activity; it was about the health implications regarding the harm minimisation approach that this government has to drug use in our community. We do not condone the personal use of cannabis. We know that there are health risks to individuals that