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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3433 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

The police, quite obviously, are busy. Quite obviously, they have been called upon to provide extra security in a number of places. The collective forces are working together, for God's sake, and the particular instructions that I would give would arise out of an interaction, rather than my walking in and saying, "Mr Murray, keep us safe from mad bombers."I really do not want to tell him how to do his job in detail, but I would also want to think that we are as secure as is practically possible.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Mr Quinlan, what are your plans-indeed, do you have any-to provide additional resources to the ACT police, given those new levels of threats to our community?

MR QUINLAN: One thing I can report to this house happily-it might have something to do with a later debate-is that police numbers in the ACT today are at a record high. We have changed the level for the number of police in the territory. We have made sure that recruitment got weaving.

Mr Humphries: How many are there?

MR QUINLAN: There are 790, off the top of my head, but I will get back to you on that one.

Mrs Dunne: I would love to see the figure.

MR QUINLAN: Excuse me, are you implying that I am telling fibs?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Please do not respond to the interjections; just respond to the supplementary question.

MR QUINLAN: This much I can tell you with certainty: John Murray told me last Friday that police numbers in the force working in the ACT are at an all-time record high now. Is that clear enough?

Sex offenders

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to the police services minister, Mr Quinlan. It was reported recently that as many as 10 convicted child sex offenders had fled from New South Wales to the ACT to avoid naming on the New South Wales paedophile register. Minister, what is being done to stop these convicted sex offenders striking again in the ACT?

MR QUINLAN: Publicity was given to that recently because, arising out of the recent Police Ministers Council, there has been a decision and there is work being done-it is not absolutely finalised to the last degree-on establishing a national register. I think you will find if you go back over the media that in the discussion on that Commander Mandy Newton actually said that they have liaised with New South Wales and liaised with other police interstate and they are confident, but not certain, that they know the whereabouts of most previously convicted child sex offenders who have moved into the territory. This happens on the basis of an exchange of intelligence between the forces.

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