Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2613 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Mr Speaker, the impact on policing during the period the demonstrations were going on was obviously significant but not extremely damaging to ACT Operations. We accept it as part of our lot to provide resourcing to the Federal Government in these circumstances. Indeed, the Federal Government resources us to the tune of about 90 officers of the 689 that we buy from the Commonwealth every year to account for our contribution to the Commonwealth's policing requirements for those sorts of things. Nonetheless, Mr Speaker, resourcing of the police regions in Canberra at that stage was fairly basic and it obviously had a fairly serious impact over the next few days on things like overtime requirements. Officers were working fairly long hours to make up the resources.
The cost to the community Mr Osborne asked me about is an issue I will not be able to answer properly for some time to come. Although the Commonwealth, as I said, pays the ACT for some of those costs by paying for some of the police that we use in the Territory, the fact is that there are other costs which are not accounted for by that process - the cost of destroyed or damaged uniforms, the cost of equipment that was destroyed or damaged and particularly the cost of criminal injuries compensation which officers will claim and which could be quite considerable. I have heard an estimate, which may or may not be accurate, of $300,000 for those costs to the Territory. Those are costs that the ACT taxpayers, under the present arrangements, will bear by themselves.
I have written to my counterpart, Mr Williams. I think the Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister on the same subject, to argue for some revision of those arrangements to take into account the cost that flows to the Territory. This is not, of course, the first major demonstration that has occasioned cost to the Territory. Mr Speaker, those costs will be worked out over a period of time, but they will be quite considerable. I hope we will not be bearing them entirely on our own score. I do not think I could finish the answer without commenting, of course, on the very sad fact of the demonstrations and the way in which they transpired. I hope all members would share my view and the Government's view that it was a sad day for Australian democracy to see what happened last week at the forecourt of Parliament House.
MS REILLY: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Stefaniak as the Minister responsible for youth services in the ACT. I assume these are the youth that have not been sold off. As all youth centres are going to be tendered out when existing funding runs out, will you ensure that any service providers that are awarded the new contracts will, as a minimum requirement, be obliged to meet the conditions of the community services award?
MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. The Government is, of course, giving the new award detailed consideration. It has already been the subject of consultation in relevant portfolio areas, and that certainly applies to the youth and community services areas. A first look at the organisations involved indicates that it relates to health and community care; it has some ramifications in education and training, and certainly youth, children's and family services. They are already consulting with the community organisations.