Page 481 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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MR HARGREAVES: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question and for his public declaration of his blatant ignorance of policing processes in this town. Obviously, the Leader of the Opposition has been to the Steve Pratt school of politics. He has this fixation with numbers. We shall have numbers and dollars at 50 paces! As a former police minister, he should know that the whole concept of policing in this town has changed. And it has changed for the better. Mr Smyth is going back into the bowels of history and dragging up a figure that suits him.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: Of course he is. Why is that? It is because the Leader of the Opposition has not had the wit to say to me, “Can you have a chat to me about where we’re at with this particular crime in the ACT?”

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I did not ask the minister a question about me; I asked him why the dollar value has dropped from $90 to $54. Under standing order 118 (b) he must answer it.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the point of the question, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Certainly Mr Speaker, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to expose the Leader of the Opposition for his absolute and blatant ignorance of the process. The fact is that no more do we use the archaic method of applying dollar figures to police activity. Those are workload statistics; they have nothing to do with the effect of what they do. They are non-effectiveness measures.

If Mr Smyth wants to have a look at some of the other numbers—when he gets his up-to-date numbers; when he asks for them—he will find that, in all major criminal activity that has occurred in this town over the past 12 months, and compared with this time last year, the figures are down significantly in double digit figures.

I will not indulge in police numbers or dollar values at 50 paces with the Leader of the Opposition. I am satisfied. When you think about it, you realise that we have had a 100 per cent increase in murders in this town in the last twelve months.

Mr Smyth: Shame!

MR HARGREAVES: Shame—yes, we have gone from one to two! I am surprised that you call yourself a person that can count money and people. That is a 100 per cent increase. Of course, the police in this town are not really effective because they did not prevent that 100 per cent increase—what a lot of nonsense!

This jurisdiction and the way in which we provide policing in this town is the best in the country. And the Leader of the Opposition and his cohorts in crime know that. I am absolutely disgusted that they would bother to trot out this sort of drivel led by his colleague, the very shadowy minister for police and emergency services.

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