Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 867 ..
Mr Pratt: Thirty-nine is a pretty strong factor.
MR WOOD: You may not have great confidence in the police force, but I do. I believe it provides a very good service to the ACT. In fact, I have to tell you that, at 8.00 am this morning, at a conference of the senior executives of the police service, I told them that I believe they deliver a very good service to the ACT. I think they would be disappointed to hear what you say, Mr Pratt.
There is no point of order. You might as well sit down.
Mr Pratt: Point of order. You have not even heard it yet. Listen. Can't you listen?
MR SPEAKER: Order. That is a bit hypothetical, Mr Wood, because I have not heard it yet.
Mr Pratt: Mr Speaker, my point of order is that I did not claim that we have a lower level of police services.
MR SPEAKER: That is no point of order.
Mr Pratt: I think the police service is fantastic, but it could be better.
MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Pratt.
Mr Quinlan: Sit down.
Mr Pratt: Up yours.
Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker. Standing order 118(a) says that answers "shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question". The subject matter of the question is the comparison between the ACT number of 242 and the national average, which the minister is avoiding by creating a smokescreen, so it is a valid point of order.
MR SPEAKER: First of all, the minister has not been given much of chance to give a concise answer. Second, he was sticking to the subject matter, which was policing.
MR WOOD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. If my memory is correct, Mr Pratt was asking about whether we get an inferior level of service.
Mr Pratt: No.
MR WOOD: You were talking about service.
Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker. The question is about the number of sworn officers. Mr Pratt made the comparison of the national average of 281 against the ACT figure of 242 per 100,000. It is not about the quality of the service. It is about the number of officers.