Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 862 ..
No. Look, Mr Hanson is correct. Our members are burnt out. We are concerned about the welfare of our members. Our members don’t have the opportunity to take time off or mental health days and spend times with their families, like a general public servant would, purely because they are spread thin on the ground, and they have such a strong camaraderie that they do not want to take leave knowing that taking leave will leave their mates on the road thinner on the road.
He went on, as well, to an important issue—and that relates to crime statistics. We have heard about clearance rates and we have heard about numbers. The minister hides behind crime statistics, but the AFPA makes the point that there is a lot that police do beyond crime statistics—and what I mean is call to service. I mean all calls to the police, because not all those calls are registered as crime statistics. The AFPA representative was talking about things like missing persons, issues with members with mental health, some of the domestic violence reports that police have to attend, suspicious people in your backyard and noise complaints. These are the sorts of things that police respond to whilst trying to go out there and fight crimes which are recorded as crime statistics. So the minister will hide behind stats. He will hide behind those statistics that do not present in any way the full picture of what ACT police do.
What the opposition will do, though, is to stand with ACT Policing, with the Australian Federal Police Association and with the communities in Weston Creek, Molonglo and across Canberra to make sure that they have sufficient resources. I call on members here to support this motion. It is important. What greater responsibility does this place have than to keep its community safe and to look after its workers?
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Advanced Technology and Space Industries, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.29): I thank Mr Hanson for the motion. Firstly, I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to our ACT Policing officers for continuing to keep our community safe.
The government has worked closely with ACT Policing to reduce crime and ensure that all Canberra remains one of the safest cities in Australia. I have said, as Mr Hanson said, that the Canberra Liberals are rolling out the same tired argument, year after year, while ignoring the government’s new investments and the excellent results ACT Policing continues to achieve. With that, I move the amendment circulated in my name:
“Omit all words after “That this Assembly” and substitute:
“(1) notes that the ACT Government has:
(a) worked closely with ACT Policing to reduce crime and ensure Canberra remains one of the safest cities in Australia, with crime rates in the ACT on average lower than 10 years ago;
(b) in the 2019-20 ACT Budget, the ACT Government delivered a $33.9 million commitment dedicated to the Police Services Model, which will deliver more than 60 ACT Policing members in its first four years.
(2) further notes that the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Annual and Financial Report 2019-2020; Appropriation Bill 2020-2021 and