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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4742 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

recently in my role as minister for police. After this government came to power the rate of incidents reported to police declined, and that was the case still until fairly recently-I have not seen the most recent figures.

I make no claim that this government is responsible for that. The people who are responsible for that are the police in the ACT, whom Mr Cornwell slandered. Mr Cornwell said that people do not report crime because "nothing will happen".

Mr Pratt: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker, in relation to standing order 55: imputation or personal reflection. I didn't hear Mr Cornwell slander police.

Mr Cornwell: I didn't mention the police.

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order; it is a point of debate.

MR WOOD: I do not know whom else you would report crime to, Mr Cornwell, other than the police. You might explain that.

The police in this town do a sterling job. The police work, now, as in the past, assiduously to contain and stop crime and to bring offenders to boot. Mr Cornwell's comments were an affront to them. "Don't report anything to the police,"he says. "They won't do anything."

Mr Smyth: He didn't say that!

MR WOOD: Go back and read your Hansard tomorrow.

Mr Cornwell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I did not mention the police at all in my comments, and I would like that on the record.

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Resume your seat.

MR WOOD: Mr Cornwell, it is on the record already.

MR SPEAKER: Order! That means you, Mr Wood. Mr Cornwell, there was no point of order. Members of the opposition will settle down. Mr Wood has the floor. Direct your comments through the chair.

MR WOOD: I assert the view strongly that the police work extremely hard to attend to crime and to contain it. The circumstances were that, with the methods they employ, when this government came to office the rate of incidence went down. Mind you, there is a bit more heroin around, so there might-

Mr Smyth: It had been trending down for six to nine months.

MR WOOD: Those are not the figures I saw; the figures I saw had it trending up. The point I make is: don't make an attack on the police. They are out there working assiduously.

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