Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3536 ..
MR WOOD (continuing):
important issue, and one that is being examined. I am not in a position yet to tell you what the outcome will be.
MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Given that the commissioner has raised a number of broader issues and recommendations to do with the need for better integration of tree protection into the sale and development of land, will you commit to providing the Assembly with a written response to this particular investigation, even though you don't have to? I am asking: will you do that please?
MR WOOD: I will not say yes or no on my feet; I will give that some thought. As the tree legislation has been implemented, there have been numbers of issues where we have to work it into the system so that it is thoroughly understood as developments occur and as plans develop. I would encourage members to have a look at the tree discussion paper that is presently out for consideration as we work towards a more permanent scheme for that.
MS MacDONALD: My question is addressed to the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections, Mr Quinlan. Can the minister advise the Assembly if offence rates such as those for burglary, motor vehicle theft, and assault are on the increase?
MR QUINLAN: Thank you. That is a very timely question, Ms MacDonald. Unfortunately, I have to advise the Assembly that the figures do show a 15 per cent increase in offences against the same time last year. In particular, property crime, motor vehicle theft and, unfortunately, assault offences have increased significantly. I will provide the Assembly with the full suite of statistics as soon as they have been finalised.
One of the reasons that have been advanced for the increase in offence levels is that many of the individuals arrested as a result of Operation Anchorage are now back on the streets and back in action. While this is anecdotal, the ACT police are looking at these issues as part of the normal tracking of crime levels.
MS MacDONALD: I have a supplementary question. Minister, given the increases, can you tell the Assembly what the police are doing to counter them?
MR QUINLAN: For some time the ACT police have been anticipating increases in offence levels and working on strategies to maintain low offence rates in the long term. And some of the practices and processes used in Operation Anchorage were continued in normal police activity.
Over the last two weeks, another operation, codenamed Halite, has commenced, with the AFP officially launching it this Friday. In brief terms, it is a 12-month operation aimed not only at those committing burglary and property crimes and stealing motor vehicles, but also at the related industries that naturally support these offences, such as the stolen goods trade, the vehicle rebirthing trade and drug trafficking.
The first phase of Operation Halite was commenced on 28 October this year with a team consisting of members of north patrol, south patrol, territory investigations group, and the operations monitoring intelligence support working from Woden station. Recent