Page 2196 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

their work in reducing these incidents has been recorded. What impressed me most was the officers’ commitment to working with the community to achieve safe streets.

The community has participated in these processes of crime reduction and, as a result, reduction is being achieved through holistic changes and strategies that not only reduce rates of crime but also address the structural problems associated with property crime in particular: investment in our young people in the territory, through youth programs, quality public education; and ensuring that young people have both a voice and a way of contributing to their community in a positive and meaningful way. Investment in the system of criminal justice in the ACT by government and working with the police and the broader community further reflects our commitment to genuine crime reduction and public safety. The high degree of the perception of safety in our community reflects the success of this approach.

The national average of safety perceptions is around 80 per cent. In the ACT, with the highest safety perceptions in the country, 84.3 per cent of our community feel safe in their homes. The rate of feeling safe on public transport is also the highest in the country. We have the lowest rates of community concern about the level of illegal drug use and the impact this may have on community safety. We have the lowest rates of concern about physical assault and family violence. I raise the issue of community perception not to suggest that the work of the ACT government and ACT Police in crime reduction and community safety is complete. Clearly there is always more work to do.

In the ACT we are privileged to have a competent and committed police force dedicated to working with government, businesses and the community towards achieving our goals of a safe community. The amendment proposed by Minister Hargreaves today reflects this commitment and commends the achievements of the ACT government and the Australian Federal Police in Canberra in crime reduction and community safety to date. It reflects the success of intelligence-led policing in the territory and the consequent commitment by government to support this initiative. It reflects the importance to our community of active policing and community participation in public safety and crime reduction, and the role of the government in facilitating this process. I urge you to support the amendment.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (5.35): I would like to speak against the amendment and in support of Mr Pratt’s original motion. I commend Mr Pratt for bringing this motion forward; I know it is an area of concern to many Canberrans. Despite Mr Hargreaves’s dismissals, it is a real issue in the community. There are genuine concerns which are not to be dismissed lightly. Even though it is not in my electorate, I have spoken to people about the crime rates at Calwell shops. It is certainly a concern to some of the shop owners. They tell me there is weekly vandalism there.

Mr Hargreaves: Name one!

MR SESELJA: It is a concern—and it is this dismissive attitude of Mr Hargreaves that is of significant concern. We saw it in the estimates process on virtually everything. Where he did not know what he was talking about, he would just sort of ramble; he would yell, rant and rave; and it caused the chair no end of grief. We have seen it again today. We see Mr Gentleman echoing it, when Mr Hargreaves says that Mr Pratt wants a policeman at every letterbox or in every driveway. What a ridiculous thing to say! Has

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .