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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2214 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Speaker, much of what happens in housing is tied up in the Commonwealth-State housing agreement. We will have to finish the negotiations there. I look forward to giving a submission to the Assembly inquiry because I am very proud of the achievements of the Government in regard to housing and I will continue to be proud of the achievements as we carry them out. I commend the budget to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Part 14 - Department of Justice and Community Safety

Proposed expenditure - Department of Justice and Community Safety,$151,649,000 (comprising net cost of outputs, $81,690,000; capital injection, $5,369,000; and payments on behalf of the Territory, $64,590,000)

MR SPEAKER: The question is that the proposed expenditure be agreed to.

Mr Moore: Yes.

MR HARGREAVES (8.38): Thank you, Mr Moore, for the entertainment. It is nice to see a jester in the chamber at this time of night, and I appreciate it very much. For the period 1999-2000 Emergency Services will make a $2.8m loss, as I understand it. For the same period the Government payment for outputs is being cut by $2.5m. One wonders why that is. I am sure there is an explanation for this but I could not find it in the budget papers. I have searched and searched but I could not find it. Perhaps the Minister can tell us later on.

A further $50,000 is being spent on the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre. We have spoken about the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre for a while and on a number of occasions. It is really needed out there in Gungahlin but I do not think it is being utilised to its full capacity. Also, they have part-time police there. I think Gungahlin had full-time police but they were removed. They came from Belconnen, over to Gungahlin and back again. Is this the police equivalent of a table tennis game? I do not know, Mr Speaker.

That leads me to the point that I am a bit disappointed that additional funding was not allocated for the recruitment of extra police. Therein lies a bit of a conundrum. Staffing levels have fallen back to those of the mid 1980s. Crime in key areas is on the increase, while clear-up rates have dropped off dramatically. Anybody who does not think that the clear-up rates are less than desirable ought to read the stats.

Mr Quinlan: No-one is listening.

MR HARGREAVES: I address my remarks to you, Mr Speaker, because nobody in the chamber apart from Mr Moore, to whom I will pay credit, is paying the slightest bit of notice. I want to stick all this in Hansard.

Mr Moore: Speak with more flamboyance.

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