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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2607 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Thank you members. I will be brief. I simply say that we have seen a remarkable result in these recent figures. Rather than continuing with scare tactics like "burglary capital of Australia", members should accept that there has been a change in the environment and be prepared to give credit where it is due, and cease, in particular, to use language that might be frightening to this community.

If we see, for example, a deterioration in the quality of literacy and numeracy in our schools, it is probably fair comment to get out there and make some adverse remark about the quality of education in schools. Up to a point it is fair comment. No-one is going to stop sending their kids to school because of concern about literacy and numeracy. But to suggest to people that there is a level of crime in the community which is not actually the case, to use phrases like: "It's not safe to walk to your car anymore," or phrases like: "We are the burglary capital of Australia," when that is patently untrue, is irresponsible. I urge members not to succumb to that temptation.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, a question was posed by Mr Hargreaves about the extra money which has been agreed to be supplied to the Federal Police. He suggested, again mischievously, that that money might come from some other part of the AFP's budget. That will not be the case. It cannot be the case. We are required to pay extra to the Federal Police, and that means we have to pay extra to the Federal Police, not by simply shuffling the deck chairs and pretending that we have actually given them more money. That is clear. That is on the record. That will have an implication, of course, for the budget, but it is not a matter which will affect the operation of the Australian Federal Police.

I hope that this debate will trigger some realisation on the part of members opposite that the very cute game they have been playing on crime in this community cannot be continued.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.04): It is a pleasure for me to rise to support this motion to congratulate the Australian Federal Police, ACT based, on the reduction of crime by 12 per cent in the ACT. These are very good figures and something to be proud of. It is good to see that operations such as Operation Anchorage are having so much success. These successes are no doubt as a result of many initiatives taken by the Australian Federal Police. It has been particularly noticeable that things have improved out of sight, in my view, since the appointment of Commissioner John Murray .

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Rugendyke, you may care to move your amendment now, or would you rather wait until later?

MR RUGENDYKE: Thank you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. I move:

Omit the word "Government", substitute the words "ACT Police".

I have moved that amendment because I believe that credit should be given where it is due. It is all right for the government to beat its chest and say how good they have been, but, let's face it; it is the police who have done the work. As I was saying, there has been a noticeable difference since the appointment of Commissioner John Murray, a man for whom I have a great deal of respect due to the several times that I have met him around town.

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