Page 829 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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that just pinching criminals is the way to go; we need to have a prevention strategy in place. One prevention strategy we can have is this: if crims are going to wander around the suburbs thinking they can break into any place, I would like to think that they would think twice about it because we have an effective community prevention response.

To that end, we have some initiatives for this coming year. There is a partnership events calendar, which includes information nights and training days. Neighbourhood Watch members will join crime prevention officers to attend community events such as barbecues, family and fun days. Of course they were at the Canberra Show. Those who visited the stall at the Canberra Show will know what I am talking about.

The achievements will include, but are not limited to, of course, the provision of information on safety and crime prevention for the elderly—the CLASP program that has been spoken about a lot. The elderly live in their communities, we hope. As part as the Neighbourhood Watch response, they should be in touch with these people.

As Minister for Police and Emergency Services, I commend and congratulate the Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch committee for the quality of the service that they have provided to the community. It is, as I said when I first started, a bit unusual to actually single out people and name them in the context of a motion, but I am quite happy to see that in this instance because what we need to do is reinvigorate the whole community in the ACT. Holding up, as it were, community heroes, which is what these people definitely are, as an example will actually throw the challenge out to other parts of our community and say, “Well, if they can do it, you can do it.”

I know that in the Tuggeranong areas—and Mr Smyth knows too well—we have a reasonably low level of crime in all categories, compared with other parts of town. That is due to a whole range and raft of reasons, and I will not go into that raft and range of reasons. Suffice it to say, though, that a fairly vibrant Neighbourhood Watch system contributes to that.

I again congratulate those people named by Mr Mulcahy in the motion and extend my congratulations, as minister for police, to them. I think we ought to all join in those congratulations.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (5.54): I rise—and I am conscious of the time—to briefly speak in support of this motion. I would like to commend Mr Mulcahy for bringing this forward. I note his very strong interest not just in all the people of Molonglo but also in that area of Woden where he has such a strong presence. I would like to commend him for bringing that forward.

Isaacs Neighbourhood Watch, like other Neighbourhood Watch organisations in the ACT and other community groups in the ACT, make an invaluable contribution to our community. It goes without saying that personal safety is of paramount importance to everyone. Neighbourhood Watch, I believe, plays a very important role in that.

It is unfortunate that we have some significant issues around police numbers at the moment. There is a lot of concern in the community about the lack of police numbers. I know that, in my electorate, particularly out in places like Gungahlin where there is not a full-time police presence, there is a particular concern. I was speaking to people at the

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