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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 869 ..


community and less time having to go back to a station. That means that they are able to be more mobile and get to know their community better.

I also note the social determinants approach that reduces the number of crimes that occur in the community. If we can provide better family support services, better housing, better homelessness, drug and alcohol services, and better mental health services, and provide for better recreational spaces and sports facilities that build resilience in individuals as well as strengthen communities, then we will not have to worry as much about crime happening because the social determinants will be being addressed. We are doing a lot of work to address these issues. I would just like to say that the amendments that Minister Gentleman has noted here are very worthwhile supporting and that we will continue to work collaboratively on improving services in the ACT to reduce perceptions of safety issues and crime.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.52): The minister said he is tired of this debate. Well, let me tell you, I am not. We will continue to fight for this issue. We will be tireless. We will continue to argue for our community’s safety and we will continue to fight for our frontline police officers. We will not allow the minister, as he has today and often does, to hide behind a selective use of the statistics.

We will not be supporting the amendment for a number of reasons. Firstly, it ignores the issue at hand—that is, a new station in Molonglo and the need for more numbers on the ground. But it is also wrong. It refers to investing in ACT Policing numbers to ensure that ACT Policing remains well resourced. Well, it does not. That is the nub of my argument; that is the nub of the AFPA’s argument. It is not resourced as it should be. It is resourced at the lowest rate in Australia, and in terms of frontline officers and dollars per capita it is resourced less than it was a decade ago. The amendment is simply not true, so we will not be supporting it.

I am a bit surprised that Dr Paterson will not support this motion and spoke so strongly against it. She has accused me and Mrs Jones of fearmongering and playing politics. Well, this is coming from the community. To claim that this is all politically motivated is a slur on Tom Anderson. In the lead-up to the election forum last year he said, “We’ve been saying for years that there’s no meaningful police presence in Weston Creek or Molonglo.” He said that they have consistently requested a permanent police presence in the area, cited attendance times of well over an hour for call-outs and that they have been promised a police station in Weston Creek town centre but have no plans and no idea when it will be developed. He also said that when police do arrive it can be several hours later and that it is not just the police at Woden—the police force has not grown with the Canberra population. If you want to make a slur against me and Mrs Jones, well, that is great. We do not mind; we have broad shoulders and that is politics.

Mr Gentleman: A point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker. Members should direct their comments through the chair and not call “you” across the chamber.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Gentleman. Mr Hanson.


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