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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 848 ..

the community. Certainly, parents are their children’s best advocates, so we will be consulting with children, with early childhood groups like Early Childhood Australia, and nature play groups, of which there are many in Canberra, to build a play space strategy that can make sure that children’s development is supported in Canberra into the future.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, as the minister responsible for the neighbourhood democracy trial project through the PAGA, wouldn’t this be a prime example to be considered for that line item?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. This is a really good opportunity to work with local communities around their preferences. Of course, the government has committed, through the parliamentary and governing agreement, to look at that neighbourhood democracy project, and to work with local communities on what their preferences are. That may be a play space; it may be another community project that they would like to work on. We will need to consult directly with the communities to find out exactly what that is.

In relation to the Melba play space, I understand it is quite an extensive project. I certainly welcome that initiative, but we will need to consider that amongst the range of priorities that we have for upgrading priority play spaces across Canberra, of which many have already been committed to by the government.

Crime—clearance rates

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the minister for police. The latest Productivity Commission Report on Government Services shows that crime clearance rates are falling behind in the ACT. Investigations finalised at the 30-day mark for sexual assault, armed robbery, unarmed robbery, unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft are the lowest percentage rates in Australia. The AFPA says that this is not an indication of policing; it is an indication of overstretched and overworked officers. Minister, why are clearance rates for all categories of crime the lowest in Australia?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Castley for the question and once again thank the AFPA for their advocacy for policing. It is not the case that crime clearance rates are at that state for all crime clearance rates. In fact, 1 and 2 are doing quite well across the ACT. There are certainly lower clearance rates for those categories below that, and we are looking to see how we can support ACT Policing to improve that number.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, what is the impact of low clearance rates for sexual abuse and assault?

MR GENTLEMAN: There are quite a variety of impacts, I think, for those low clearance rates. I think there is an opportunity to assist more people that are affected by that particular crime through the other avenues that the ACT government has to support those victims of crime. It is also important that the crime team that works in those areas is properly supported. The support that we do give them, I believe, is

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