Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2005) . . Page.. 2194 ..
are illustrations here of fights, assaults, people being abused, and violent and disorderly conduct on a regular basis in the suburb through the late hours of the night.
I am grateful that the minister, despite publicly saying there is not a problem, has in fact quietly acknowledged it by ensuring that his police force is well represented there. The people of Manuka are now a little more relaxed, thanks to Mr Pratt’s efforts in drawing this to the attention of the community. Minister, perhaps you can deploy some of those people, with your limited resources—I know you have a limited number to work with because you have less than you had four years ago—down to Calwell next and see if we can sort out a presence there. I know the businesses in Calwell would love to see some form of police presence.
Mr Hargreaves: Do you know where Calwell is?
MR MULCAHY: It is on your electorate side, so I hope you do! The problem, of course, with this strategy is that, when you do not have enough police numbers, you have to keep moving to the problems. I feel the minister is going to be pretty busy over the next several years while Mr Pratt keeps citing the new outbreak areas of crime. Then there will be a response and we will settle them down.
It is unfortunate that the fundamental issue here is that there are inadequate police numbers for the ACT. I would like to see that addressed. I know the minister has now acknowledged that there is a problem, in that he has not refuted those numbers he provided in estimates. It is now a matter of public record, and I congratulate Mr Pratt for listing that information in estimates. I think the message is loud and clear that we need to have this addressed. I very much hope members opposite will accept the fact that there have been significant issues. I am sure you are receiving the same level of complaints as I am—that people do not feel the police have the resources to follow through. I look forward to seeing the improvements we have seen in Manuka reflected in other suburbs.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.27): I am not going to support this motion or the government’s amendment. The continual debate between the Liberal opposition and the government on these matters appears to pre-empt the release of the ACT government and the Australian Federal Police report, Policing for the future. The previous minister for police, Mr Wood, announced in 2004 that the Policing for the future report would review crime trends and other demographic and environmental features to help us determine the policing needs of the ACT, identify the human and financial resources required to service those needs and examine the government’s framework necessary to support the relationship between the ACT and the service provider. It became evident during the examination of the Auditor-General’s report about policing—I forget which one—that there were real concerns about the agreement between the ACT government and the AFP.
Mr Mulcahy: That was the estimates.
DR FOSKEY: I think it was earlier than that, too. I was under the impression that this report was to be released by January 2005. I asked the current minister for police about this during the estimates hearings. He advised that he is yet to receive a final copy of the report and that, when he does, he will consider whether or not to make it public. Despite the Greens’ strong support for community policing models, I am not going to engage in