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I indicate very clearly that we do not share the view of the previous Government about the way in which the policing was handled in the Territory. We see the need to restructure our services to provide the maximum benefit to the people of Canberra. We have had several concerns about the way in which policing was left to us by the former Government, and we intend to face up to the question of delivering better quality services with the same amount of money, or perhaps even less in the long term. We have to address those issues and we - - -
Mr Connolly: Humphries foreshadows police budget cutbacks.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Connolly can make his cheap shots. I can tell Mr Connolly what we will not be doing in this Government. We will not be providing police kiosks with no windows for police to look out.
Mr Hird: Or with no tables and chairs.
MR HUMPHRIES: And we will not be building police stations without any furniture for the police to sit on. That will not be part of this Government's policy. We are looking at smarter ways of tackling crime, and we will be ensuring that when we put resources in place they are effective and do the job.
Victims of Crime Coordinator
MR CONNOLLY: My question is addressed to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Attorney-General. Much as I would like to ask him about foreshadowed police budget cutbacks, with 11 days to go before the end of the financial year I ask the Attorney-General: What has happened to the $80,000 set aside in the Labor budget to fund the position of Victims of Crime Coordinator?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, this is a very important issue. I can see a press release coming on, stating, “Government blamed for not filling position” - a position which was not filled in the preceding 3½ years of Labor government. We certainly cannot promise to do within a space of three months everything we want to do. We will certainly try to do it within 3½ years, however.
Mr Speaker, we have had continuing discussions about the filling of the position of Victims of Crime Coordinator. That is a matter of considerable importance to this Government, as it was to us in opposition and as I believe that it still is to the Opposition today. I indicate to the Assembly that there have been negotiations with the Victims of Crime Assistance League for the filling of a position which was effectively a position under the auspices of that organisation. It would seem to me that that would have been the logical way of providing that kind of service. Unfortunately, due to the illness of one of the senior office-holders of VOCAL in the last two or three weeks, I am advised, it is not possible for them at this point to take up the option of effectively managing that position. We have been left with having to fall back to other arrangements to find a suitable person to be Victims of Crime Coordinator.