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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3238 ..

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, one of the things that really give people the irritations big time is when the Chief Minister says we do not call the police out every time. We know that. Everybody knows that. It is just stating the bleeding obvious, so please desist.

Mr Speaker, on page 14 also there is talk about law enforcement and community safety. The document mentions some of the programs linked to the goal of supply and reduction through law enforcement. I know what the AFP do about that. But it also says in here that there are programs funded by the Department of Justice and Community Safety and through the AFP. Well, we know about those. I have had a look at the annual report for 1998-99, Mr Speaker, and I can find nothing there but the odd cursory mention. There is nothing in there about what these programs are. So, instead of having bald statements saying, "We have these programs and they are funded by the department", how about letting us know what they are? If that is to be a meaningful report, then let us know about it.

Mr Speaker, on page 33 of this document it talks about the number of drivers charged by random breath test units. It says that in the year ended June 1996 there were 1,604 drivers charged. In 1997 the figure was down to 815, and in the year ended June 1998 it was back up to 1,018. (Extension of time granted) I thank members. I would be interested to see considered and qualified opinion on the role of the random breath testing unit in reducing the number of people charged. I would like to hope that it is directly attributable, but I do not think so.

The number charged was 1,600 in the year to June 1996 and then it dropped to 815. You would think, "Wow, that's a pretty dramatic thing. A 50 per cent reduction. That's pretty good". What happened was that the rate per 1,000 tests did not change because in the year ended 1998 it had been jacked up again by another 200 to over 1,000. I do not know whether we can attribute the success to random breath testing, or whether people are becoming more responsible about their driving generally. It is not explained to me in this report how come it has gone from 815 in 1997 to 1,018 in 1998. I guess the point, Mr Speaker, is that it does not explain it.

The final comment that I would make on this report, Mr Speaker, relates to the item on people in custody which starts on page 51 and goes to page 52. Interestingly, it opens up by saying:

Harm minimisation will be the policy adopted in any ACT prison.

It goes on to say:

... any prison policy will concentrate primarily on supply reduction and demand reduction.

I would have thought, Mr Speaker, that prison policy would start with trying to address the pain and suffering of people who are on drugs and are suffering addiction when they go in there. I understand that we need to stop the demand and we need to stop the supply and all that sort of stuff, but, Mr Speaker, we are talking about people here and I do not see that being recognised particularly well in this report. It says on page 52:

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