Page 822 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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graffiti, truancy, bullying, peer group pressure, arson, burglary and the like. The point I am offering for consideration is that Neighbourhood Watch and branches like the Isaacs branch have the capacity to extend beyond their established boundaries and further develop their capabilities, allowing members of the watch to contribute further to the safety and wellbeing of people in any given neighbourhood where the scheme operates.

It is certainly a commendable scheme, one that is firmly established in the ACT and one that I am sure the minister is fully supportive of, as is the opposition. I most certainly congratulate and commend the work of the Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch committee and wish them every success for the future, as I do for all other Neighbourhood Watch groups.

MR PRATT: (Brindabella) (5.25): Mr Speaker, I rise to support Mr Mulcahy’s motion and to congratulate the Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch Committee. The difficulties of running and maintaining a Neighbourhood Watch system are quite large. The challenge to maintain momentum and enthusiasm in suburbs that establish Neighbourhood Watch committees is always something that members have to work particularly hard on.

I recall the birth of Neighbourhood Watch in the 1970s. I was an early member of the Latham Neighbourhood Watch in the early 1980s. It is always the case that it is the keen 10, 15 or 20 who get out there and do all the hard work, and that clearly has not changed in the years since.

I would like to congratulate the Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch committee. I would like to personally congratulate the principal officeholders of that particular committee, Deborah Todd, Lorrie Daley, Margaret Weir and Dianna Marshall. These sorts of things can be a thankless task. Perhaps that is not the case here. It may indeed be a labour of love but often, when community members step forward and volunteer to do these things, they can carry most of the burden.

The Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch has clearly had a very active first year of operations. Perhaps this is at a time when other Neighbourhood Watch committees, other suburban committees, tend to be falling away, and a lot of hard work has got to be done to keep that enthusiasm up. Certainly, in the Isaacs area, I recall attending a number of successfully organised Emergency Services briefings that had been coordinated by the local Neighbourhood Watch on a variety of issues. Certainly, the fixing of a very significant number of street signs and gutter-painted house numbers and the safety house program that has been put in place by the Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch, as detailed by Mr Mulcahy earlier, clearly are testament to their hard work and their success.

I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that the Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch committee model, in terms of its organisation, its objectives—and, I might add, objectives which go beyond the community safety mode and incorporate Urban Services matters as well—is perhaps a model that could well be copied by other suburbs that may be looking to rejuvenate their committees or to establish committees for the first time. The Isaacs model is a good model. Clearly the Isaacs model, whereby they also take on local roads, rates and rubbish issues, is also a good secondary role, I think, for a Neighbourhood Watch committee.

In fact, I would give you an example of another successful Neighbourhood Watch committee. It is in Pearce. It is an entirely different model made up of essentially older

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