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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 716 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: I can understand the embarrassment of those opposite, Mr Speaker. I would not be too hard on them if I were you.

Mr Speaker, was it Mr Court in Western Australia or Premier Borbidge in Queensland who took this jackbooted step in the direction of fascism? No, Mr Speaker. Was it the Northern Territory? No, Mr Speaker. In fact, the perpetrator of this vile deed was the only Labor administration in this country - New South Wales. The New South Wales Government apparently is not squeamish about the use of safety cameras to protect its citizens from crime. Indeed, I will quote from the press release issued from the office of the Minister for Transport, Carl Scully. It says:

I want to give CityRail commuters and staff peace of mind wherever they travel.

Of course, this is the peace of mind that the local Labor Party in Canberra is intent on denying to their own constituents in Civic. Mr Scully went on to say:

Rail commuters and CityRail staff have every right to feel safe on our public transport system.

But the local Labor Party seems intent on denying that feeling of safety to Canberrans when they are in Civic going about their lawful business. The launch of this announcement came at Cabramatta station. I am sure that this area of Sydney and the problems that have been associated with it in the media are well known to members. The station at Cabramatta had suffered from 29 security incidents a month - roughly the equivalent of one a day - in the period before safety cameras were installed. After the cameras were installed that number dropped to just three per month. It dropped from 29 per month to 3 per month, Mr Speaker. That is a fairly significant reduction in the number of incidents at that particular station. Indeed, Mr Scully, the Labor Minister concerned, attributes that to the improvement of lighting and the introduction of safety cameras at Cabramatta station.

I think this is a good move by the New South Wales Government. I am very happy to endorse things that the New South Wales Government does which it does well, and this is one of those things. Mr Speaker, I hope that the now mounting volume of evidence, indeed, the mountain of evidence, available in this country about the salient and salutary effect of security cameras, or safety cameras, can help persuade those opposite that it is an idea worth trialling in the ACT as soon as possible.

Mr Stanhope: We have already agreed to that.

MR HUMPHRIES: Not without kicking and screaming, Mr Stanhope. When the numbers were here in the Assembly you decided yes, that you were going to support the trial. It was very magnanimous of you, Mr Stanhope, but I am afraid it was not particularly convincing. You get about 21/2 for execution on that one. Mr Speaker, we are prepared to see this issue advanced, and we hope that others in this place will also acknowledge that this is an idea to advance not just the actual safety of people in public places but also the perception of safety, the feeling of safety, that people obtain in public places where these sorts of devices are in use.

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