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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 858 ..

(a) the latest Report on Government Services (ROGS) from the Productivity Commission shows that the ACT has the lowest number of police per-capita in Australia;

(b) ROGS shows that the ACT has fewer sworn operational staff now than it did nearly a decade ago;

(c) ROGS shows that the ACT spends the least per-capita on police in Australia and this amount has declined over the decade;

(d) the ACT Government cut $15 million from the ACT Policing in 2013;

(e) the Australian Federal Police Association say that “Police officers are constantly asked to do more with less and police officers are breaking as a result”;

(f) the significant population growth in the Molonglo region of Canberra;

(g) the reports of criminal activity in Molonglo Valley and adjacent suburbs in Weston Creek; and

(h) the lack of a permanent police presence in Molonglo or Weston Creek; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) increase the number of police to at least match per-capita levels with NSW by 2024; and

(b) establish a permanent police station in Molonglo Valley by the end of 2022.

I will have a chat before we have a vote, although, tragically, it probably will not change the outcome. Members, the motion that I am moving today is pretty simple. It is backed up by the evidence. It is backed up by statistics and by voices from our community and voices from our police association. What we want to see is an increase in police numbers across the board so that we no longer have the lowest number of police per capita in Australia but we are at least level with the next lowest jurisdiction, New South Wales.

We want to see a new police station in Molonglo. As members would be aware, it is a growing area which, at this stage, is begging for infrastructure. A police station is part of that. I have noted what some members of the community have been saying, and I will refer to the Weston Creek Community Council. Up until recently—before the establishment of the community forum—that council was advocating on behalf of Molonglo. In the lead-up to the election forum that was held last year there were comments from Tom Anderson, who is the president. He is quoted in the RiotACT news:

“We have been saying for years that there is no meaningful police presence in Weston Creek or Molonglo,” Community Council president Tom Anderson says, ahead of the council’s ACT election debate on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, that has only been highlighted by the tragic events of this weekend.” He’s referring to the stabbing of a teenager at the Weston Creek skatepark but the Council says they have been deeply concerned for years by the threat to property from multiple burglaries.

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