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Mrs Carnell: How? They are still there.

Mr Humphries: How? Cannot they work in a school?

MS McRAE: Let me ask my supplementary question. Let us have a bit of politeness. After all, you are in government; you could lead us by example. A bit of politeness might be in order for once, you never know. You would be straining, I know.

Mr Stefaniak, the advice I received was other than from the Education Union, and we were very concerned that perhaps you were allowing the downgrading of the importance of Aboriginal programs. Would you then confirm that this officer will be replaced? If one officer has left the central office, will that person be replaced? Any movement of officers in the central office does diminish the amount of service available to schools.

MR STEFANIAK: Ms McRae, my information is that there are seven staff who provide Aboriginal support services and they are still there. To me, that does not sound like a downgrading.

Police - Budget Provision

MR CONNOLLY: My question is to Mr Humphries as Police Minister. In your budget, handed out on Tuesday, we see that police expenditure for 1995-96 will remain at, in real terms, effectively what it was in Labor's 1994-95 budget. I guess that, as imitation is the highest form of flattery, I should at least thank you for your vote of confidence in Labor's police budget and Labor's police forward estimates. Do you seriously expect anybody to believe you when you try to wriggle out of your clear commitment to increase police expenditure by $1m a year by saying that the police really do not want any more money? Can you identify for me one police officer on the beat who would agree that he or she does not actually want any more money for policing?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Connolly for his question. I am sure that he conducted his budget preparation by negotiating budget claims with each police officer in the ACT - “How much would you like, officer? Would an extra hand gun be suitable? A new jacket, perhaps?”! I do not think so. Fancy the man who forgot to plug in $452,000 to get police somewhere to sit, somewhere to do their work, somewhere to put their clothes in the city police station, saying to us, “Why have you not given the police an extra $1m?”! What about having to find $452,000 to refurbish the city police station, and having to find another $360,000, I think it was, to run the Winchester Centre, which centre opened at least nine months before the election and probably longer than that? I understand that the excuse about the police station in the city was, “This would have happened in the 1995-96 financial year and therefore we did not have to worry about finding the money in 1994-95”. Fair enough; we will leave that argument for one moment.

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