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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2511 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

department, and I have not had any information back yet, so I assume the issue is still in London awaiting resolution. Perhaps the republicans in the chamber can tell us how we will deal with this problem when and if Australia ever becomes a republic.

Of course a more direct approach might be possible. It might be possible simply to grasp the nettle and to do as some have done in history and simply go over and remove the coat of arms by force from the building. However, I would ask only that if I am to be charged with that task by the Assembly Mr Osborne accompanies me for protection when I do so.

Crime Statistics

MR HIRD: Justice Miles might have something to say. Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety, Mr Humphries. Has the Minister seen comments made by our colleague Labor MLA John Hargreaves in the wake of crime statistics issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday? If so, how do his comments relate to the trends in ACT law enforcement?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Hird for that question. I did hear Mr Hargreaves' comments yesterday, and I must say I was pretty surprised. When I looked at WIN television, I wondered whether I was listening to an ACT Labor member of parliament or a Northern Territory Country-Liberal Party member of parliament. It certainly had me flabbergasted. The comments Mr Hargreaves was making were in respect of figures on victimisation with respect to crime in the community, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

The figures do contain some matters of concern, and I have indicated that very clearly on the record. I think some analysis of what those figures mean has to be done before we can be sure about what they actually represent in terms of this community's position with respect to crime. There are some differences between the questions asked three years ago and the questions asked in the most recent survey, but that is a matter we are going to have to analyse at more length.

Mr Hargreaves' comments were quite extraordinary. I quote him:

We need to have more police out there, being seen in the community to prevent people having a go at invading folks' homes and actually solving them, picking up these criminals and chucking 'em in gaol for it.

That is right, Mr Speaker - "chucking 'em in gaol for it". I can see a bit of red in Mr Stanhope's face as he hears these comments. They are sort of warm and fuzzy. Mr Stanhope has a member of his party who wants to "chuck 'em in gaol" for breaking the law.

Mr Stanhope: And you don't?

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