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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 864 ..

The ACT government has a strong record of delivering for ACT Policing and investing in our police. In the 2019-20 ACT budget, I was proud to work with the Chief Minister to deliver a $33.9 million commitment to the Police Services Model, which will deliver more than 60 ACT police members in its first four years. If the Canberra Liberals are so concerned about police numbers, why did they vote against that investment in our police, in that budget?

The opposition failed to stand up for our police when they had the chance and are now scaremongering for their own political advantage. Our police deserve better and so does our community. That is why we remain committed to implementing the Police Services Model and we are continuing to invest in ACT Policing members, with better facilities and equipment to ensure that our police remain well resourced to keep Canberra safe.

In this budget alone, we are providing funding for police to continue the COVID-19 response and keep members of the community safe during the pandemic. We are making major investments in policing accommodation, including a new traffic operational centre and a feasibility study to consider strategic accommodation options for the Winchester Police Centre in Belconnen and the ACT Policing Gungahlin police presence, currently located at the JESC in Gungahlin.

We are also providing funding for on-call forensic medical services, and this builds on our strong record of investment in ACT police in recent years, which has included $9.2 million to upgrade ACT Policing facilities; $8.8 million for new initiatives, including funding for enhanced protective security measures for our police; $6.4 million for the expansion of Taskforce Nemesis to target organised crime syndicates, including criminal motorcycle gangs; $2.6 million to recruit four new specialist positions to expand ACT Policing’s strategic analysis capability, helping to identify and target emerging crime trends; $5.6 million to provide new smartphone equipment to all police officers to improve the secure capture transmission and sharing of data and radio communications; and $1.5 million to upgrade the public safety CCTV network.

The ACT government will continue to ensure that Canberra is adequately served by frontline police and emergency services. We will continue to stand up for our police and make sure that they have the resources necessary to keep our community safe. I invite those opposite to do the same when they next get the chance, unlike what they did during the 2019-20 budget.

I would like to end today by once again congratulating the Chief Police Officer and all police officers for their efforts in reducing crime. Thank you for your ongoing service to our community. Together we will ensure that Canberra remains a safe city.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (3.36): The ACT Greens believe everyone has a right to live in a safe and peaceful community, free from crime and fear of violence. We do not believe this goal can be met through increasing the police force. This is one of those situations where difficult, complex problems have simple, intuitive, easy to understand but wrong answers. A more-boots-on-the-ground response is simple and easy to understand but not what is required in this situation.

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