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that either disestablishes a function that has been carried on presumably in the public interest or creates a new organisational entity presumably to meet some new need of the ACT community, then people in this place should be aware of what is being done and why, since we ultimately appropriate the money which funds these functions. That, to me, was the essential core issue.

I think that the recommendations of this report, if implemented by the Government - and I would hope that they would be implemented, and quickly - will achieve that situation where the police force is responsive to this place and to a Minister in this place rather than to somebody else or some other organisational body somewhere else. I think the sooner we get to that situation the better.

MR HIRD (11.40): Mr Speaker, I commend the committee and its report. As the report says, until 1927 New South Wales had the responsibility for policing in the ACT. In 1927 officers from all over Australia became members of the Federal Capital Territory Police Force. Until 1930 they had their hearings in a courthouse in New South Wales. In 1950 the then Department of the Interior took over control of the police force. By 1960 the ACT police force consisted of 188 men and women.

Mr Kaine: It was probably 188 men in those days.

MR HIRD: They did have women. The ACT police force was one of the first police forces to introduce women into the constabulary. Under the current arrangements the commissioner is responsible to a Federal Minister first and foremost, as Mr Kaine indicated. When structural alterations were made to the AFP, consideration should have been given to the needs of the client, the client being the ACT community. To my knowledge, no consultation was held with the Minister responsible, Mr Humphries. The question of responsibility arose in an incident that occurred between the Federal Government and the Alliance Government. The ACT Attorney-General took a stand and said that certain actions should be taken in front of an embassy. He was then overruled by the then Minister for Foreign Affairs.

I think ultimately the ACT should have its own police force. However, it will be interesting to see how the budgetary arrangements for the ACT component of the AFP stack up with the running of other police forces throughout Australia. My guess is that it is a very expensive arrangement. We are paying for services that, I submit, we are not receiving. Uniformed officers are undertaking activities for the Federal Government not only in the ACT but within the region. However, I believe that the appointment of a police commissioner by this Government would be a step in the right direction. I compliment the Government. I hope that the Government will implement these recommendations as soon as possible.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.

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