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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 518 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

I think, Mr Speaker, that for Mr Humphries to imply somehow that the attack on Mr Amsteins may not have occurred had there been cameras around really is a hypothetical case. Perhaps we would all like to think Mr Humphries was right, but we do know that awful crimes have been committed in full view of security cameras. Mr Speaker, I believe that the issues raised by Ms Tucker are well worth further exploration. We are asking the community here to trade a significant benefit - that is, their civil liberties, their right to privacy - for what we are told will be a greater measure of security in the Civic area and a reduction in crime. Mr Speaker, I think that that issue is one which requires more than a matter of moments to consider. It does deserve thorough investigation. I am also very happy to consult with the ACT Community Safety Committee, with the police, and with every party who might have an interest in this matter and to take their views.

In relation to Civic, I tend to echo some of the comments made by Mr Moore that the level of crime in Civic, whilst there is a level of crime, ought not to be overstated; particularly, it ought not to be overstated in the light of one very serious and very violent crime which has occurred. I would hate to think of Civic getting a reputation as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Southern Hemisphere, because that is not the case. I frequently walk through Civic after I go to the pictures, after I have dinner there, after I go to the theatre, or on my way home from work, and I can assure people that in general it is safe. Of course, you have to exercise commonsense precautions, as you do in any public place; but I think that for us to create a sense of panic, a sense of fear, about Civic would be to do our community quite a disservice. That is not to say that there is not a level of crime in Civic which must be addressed. Of course, that is the case. I believe that the police, by increasing their presence in Civic and by increasing their rate of clean-up of crime, including some fairly minor crimes, have gone a very long way to making Civic a much cleaner, more pleasant and safer place. So I do not see, Mr Speaker, that consideration of the surveillance camera issue is a matter that ought to be approached with a sense of overnight urgency. I think that waiting six months, while we carefully consider all of the issues, is quite appropriate. I thank those members who have spoken in favour of the motion. I think it is a sensible measure.

Question put:

That the motion (Ms Follett's) be agreed to.

The Assembly voted -

AYES, 8	 	NOES, 7

Mr Berry	Mrs Carnell
Ms Follett	Mr Cornwell
Ms Horodny	Mr De Domenico
Ms McRae	Mr Hird
Mr Moore	Mr Humphries
Ms Tucker	Mr Kaine
Mr Whitecross	Mr Osborne
Mr Wood
Question so resolved in the affirmative.

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