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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 950 ..


upgrade of this facility to support our still growing area and for more investment across the existing network. I note that the enterprise bargaining agreement is planned to result in an additional 99 firefighters by 2025 to ensure that ACT Fire & Rescue has the operational response capability to meet increased demand.

I am happy to see an acknowledgement of the amazing work of our emergency services personnel. They have faced an enormously trying year, responding to the bushfires, COVID-19 and the Canberra hailstorm. So much was thrown at them and they continued to rise to the challenge. As the shadow for the emergency services portfolio I will advocate hard to ensure that all emergency services get the resources and support they need to keep us all safe whilst maintaining their own mental health and wellbeing.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (11.55): The ACT Greens believe everyone has a right to live in a safe and peaceful community, free from crime and fear of violence. To meet this goal requires interagency coordination to address the social and economic circumstances that increase people’s risk of committing a crime or becoming a victim of crime. Some examples of this interagency cooperation in the ACT government include the very successful and innovative intermediary program run by the Human Rights Commission. We hope this program will be given expanded funding in the future to provide this fantastic service.

Another example of interagency coordination is the PACER program, where police work hand in hand with mental health professionals to help those going through a mental health crisis. The collaboration is acknowledged for its achievements in interagency cooperation and favourable outcomes for people with mental illness or disorder. The ACT Greens also welcome the continued funding of the PACER program and the plans to expand it to 2024.

The Greens believe victims of both civil and criminal wrongs should receive the necessary social and professional support to facilitate their recovery, so we welcome the inclusion of additional staff to administer the victims of Crime Financial Assistance Scheme. These additional resources will help to ensure that the scheme continues to provide critical support to the victims of crime in a timely manner while a review of the administration of the scheme is finalised.

Restorative practices also are an essential element to a holistic justice system. We also welcome the continued funding of the restorative justice program and look forward to its expansion. Investment is needed into programs for people exiting detention to support their transition back into the community and to reduce rates of reoffending, as well as programs to address drug and alcohol addiction and mental health through access to rehabilitation centres and mental health services.

We had the opportunity to discuss the size and composition of ACT Policing yesterday in this Assembly, and I do not wish to re-prosecute those arguments today. I will, however, note that we need ACT Policing to be well resourced and skilled, to have close relationships with the ACT’s diverse community and to be able to respond to the community’s diverse needs. This means we need to think about changing the character and capabilities of the police force.


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