Page 314 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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Now I will speak on that matter. I was rung by a constituent who lives in Reid—not in my electorate—who has taken all the precautions necessary to make his house safe. His family live there, and it has alarms, et cetera, but he has been burgled twice now in the last six months. He was concerned about the second occasion because one of the children of the next-door neighbours followed the burglars, who were doing the three houses very quickly in the street, to some flats at the corner of Elimatta Street and Ainslie Avenue—and they back onto Allambee Street.

This constituent did not know the actual number or whatever, but he made some inquiries and found out that the police did come but indicated that there was not a huge amount they could do and they apologised for being understaffed—we get back again to police numbers. They offered him counselling and said there was not much more he could do, but he wanted more than that. He indicated that there was little they could do in terms of following it up, even though they did interview the young man, I think, who lived next door.

This constituent is aware—he has made some inquiries—that in the last 12 month there had been a decision by Housing to put a lot of people who were just out of jail, people with significant drug problems, in this bunch of flats. I know people have to go somewhere, and that is a difficult issue, but I would ask the minister to look into that. The next day, apparently, his wife was home and there was someone in the front and someone in the backyard. She managed to disturb them and they went away. There have been some problems for those who are residents of that area of Reid with, it seems, the same group of people. They seem to have been responsible for quite a few recent burglaries there. If the minister is nodding, he could look into that and that would be great. I can give him the name of this person if his office wants to follow it up. I thank him for that.

I am not going to mention everyone because my colleague and leader, Mr Smyth, has done that most ably, as he always does. I do not think he has left out anyone, so I am hardly going to name them again. I might just take this opportunity to wish everyone involved in this Assembly—staff, members, the community—all the very best for Christmas. I will personally just thank my own staff and, indeed, my family for putting up with me. It is not an easy task at times.

Mrs Dunne: That’s a big ask!

MR STEFANIAK: It is a big ask. But I certainly greatly appreciate the support not only from my staff but from family—yes, all right, and my colleagues too. I will just mention all members in the Assembly and wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I hope to see everyone back here next year and give a particular welcome to all of our new members. Deb, I think you will pick things up very quickly. I am delighted to have you on the legal affairs committee. You are already asking a few good probing questions.

To Deb and all the other new members—especially my party colleagues, Richard Mulcahy and Zed, who have already made a very significant contribution in the first week of the Assembly—welcome to the Assembly. I am sure everyone is going to contribute significantly next year. May you all have a great Christmas and a very safe Christmas-New Year period. See you all next year.

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