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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3346 ..

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Castley for the question. It is a very important one and it is a piece of work that ACT Policing have been trying to deliver with the resources that they do have and, of course, the extra resources that we have provided in budgets over the last number of years. But it is stretched, Madam Speaker, and it has been stretched due to the COVID implications over the last couple of years.

I do thank ACT Policing for the work they have been doing. Of course, we have been resourcing them, in an extra sense, over the last number of budgets and we intend to do that into the future. I certainly hope we can meet the numbers that they need into the future. I am not sure we will be able to deliver directly on what AFPA are asking for, but we will certainly do the best that we can.

Mrs Jones: Why not?

MR GENTLEMAN: We have, of course, limitations in our resources as well. Each directorate has to work as best it can through the processes that we have at the moment. Once again, I thank ACT Policing for the incredible work they are doing, and I also thank the AFPA for their advocacy on their behalf too.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, why can the ACT government not get the police numbers to minimum standards?

MR GENTLEMAN: We do resource police extra every budget. We have announced some fantastic programs in order to assist ACT Policing and in order to add to that resourcing over a number of budgets. It is not just numbers on the ground; it is the way that ACT Policing operate in the ACT. That is why, as mentioned, the police service model has been a success in other jurisdictions, and we hope to see it as such a success in the ACT as well.

MR HANSON: A supplementary. Minister, why did this government cut police funding by $15 million in the 2013 budget, and what impact has that had on police resourcing?

MR GENTLEMAN: I do not agree with the premise of Mr Hanson’s question. I certainly was not in government at that time. In the research that I have done, I have not seen the figures that Mr Hanson has claimed. I can say, of course, that Mr Hanson has voted against resourcing ACT Policing in every single budget that he has been here for. In every single budget he has voted against resourcing police in the ACT.

ACT Policing—resources

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Police. A recent Canberra Times report stated that:

Break-ins at Canberra homes and businesses over the coming weeks of lockdown may not receive police attendance due to the resourcing pressures exerted by Covid-related duties.

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