Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 148 ..
MR QUINLAN: I will have to fudge a little while I get the actual precise numbers. Let me start with the second question first. There has been now a conscious program instituted within the police force to recruit, and to recruit within the ACT.
Mr Smyth: Yes, we started it.
MR QUINLAN: Well, that was not in my briefings. How quickly they forget you, Mr Smyth. There has been a conscious program to recruit locally to ensure that we build into our force people who are happy to stay within the AFP ACT for a reasonable amount of time.
As you will be aware, Mr Stefaniak, the AFP is a large force. There are career opportunities within that force which are very attractive to recruits. Recruits brought into the ACT from elsewhere are more likely in fact to wish to move into the greater force, where they see wider opportunities. There are some conscious efforts being made to try to get recruits into the force that would be happy to stay in the ACT for some time. I have to say that during the reign of the previous government it took some considerable time to settle the arrangement between the ACT and the AFP generally, which in fact created a hiatus in recruitment for police-a hiatus which they are now addressing.
I have a few numbers to give to the Assembly: 19 new recruits are scheduled to graduate in December this year-I think I will be going to that ceremony in the next week or so-and an additional 22 recruits entered the college on 26 November. The number of recruits scheduled to commence training at the college next year for deployment in the ACT is currently unavailable, as the selection process is still under way. The target is to have 60 recruits commence training in January 2002 and to have 60 to 80 recruits commence training in July 2002. Please note that this target and the actual numbers may differ because what we are trying to do is get to a situation where we are recruiting ahead of the attrition rate. Otherwise, we will always be chasing our tail. So it is anticipated that future recruitment campaigns will be conducted at six-monthly intervals in January and July of each year.
MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, you have not answered the question about the deadline to increase police numbers by 80 officers. Meeting a long-term target of the national average also depends on recruitment of police officers in other states and territories as well as what you are doing here with our local police. Are you taking that into account when setting your long-term target?
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I think I made it fairly clear before the election what the numbers were. Let me say that this was during an election campaign period in which we had a government trying to suppress the bottom line. The government was saying, "We've spent all the money. How are you going to fund your initiatives?" What we did on the way to government was act in a very responsible manner. We actually told you how many police we were going to increase the force by over the next three years.
Mr Stefaniak: What is the deadline for the 80?