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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 697 ..


Crime—antisocial behaviour

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, online noticeboards for Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley are full of discussions of firecrackers being let off at night on Rivett oval and near Cotter Road, hoons driving loud vehicles in the middle of the night, and predator doorknockers menacing people and fleecing the elderly and vulnerable for cash. People are convinced that their concerns are not being addressed by your government and by police on the ground. Minister, why is antisocial behaviour in my electorate on the rise and being allowed to continue?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. We do know that Canberra is a very safe city and that Canberrans feel very safe. I have not seen a report of any matters that have been raised on these issues in Mr Hanson’s area. I will seek some advice from ACT Policing. Canberra is a safe city, as I said. We will continue to invest in our police to ensure that we have more policing and a more modern police force for the ACT. Those are the investments that we have already made in ACT Policing. It is very important that we use those investments and the new police service model to engage with the Canberra community to ensure that we can keep that level of safety in the future. On operational matters, I will leave that to ACT Policing.

MR HANSON: Minister, are police stretched too thin on the ground and based too far away to respond adequately to antisocial behaviour in parts of Weston Creek and Molonglo?

MR GENTLEMAN: I will refer to the Chief Police Officer’s public statements about being well-resourced by the ACT government. He feels that they have the operational status that they need on the ground to deal with criminal matters as well as antisocial matters.

MRS JONES: Minister, what do you say to the residents of Fisher being harassed by doorknockers at 5.30 in the morning asking for money, the residents of Rivett who are woken at 2 am by firecrackers, and those who live anywhere near Hindmarsh Drive who hear constant burnouts and wheelies throughout the night? Is peaceful living not a right of these residents?

MR GENTLEMAN: I would say to all constituents in the ACT, if they see antisocial behaviour and criminal behaviour: please contact ACT Policing and they will see to their needs. What I would say to those residents is that Canberra is a safe city. We do have, of course, incidents of antisocial behaviour, as Mrs Jones has described. That is why we are investing more in ACT Policing to deal with that behaviour in the future.

Economy—performance

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the ACT economy, following the recent budget and the assessment by Standard & Poor’s?


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