Page 2825 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 17 August 2005

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Our concern now continues to be with antisocial and criminal behaviour, including criminal behaviour associated potentially with terrorism. This is a different order of issue than trading drugs on the street. That of course was a motivation, a reason, for looking again at the placement, the use, the management and the operation of CCTV cameras.

Similarly, as the member would be aware, 20 per cent or thereabouts of ACTION buses currently contain CCTV cameras. They are our newer buses. All of our new buses on purchase are fitted with a CCTV camera. That raises questions or issues about those buses that do not have CCTV cameras. I wish to have that issue investigated and pursued.

That is some of the background in the context of the audit, the review, the study I have sought. It involves four ACT government agencies. The investigation is being led by the head of the cabinet and policy group in the Chief Minister’s Department. At this stage I cannot pre-empt what it might find or recommend to me. But yes, I am expecting, as a result of the investigation, that there will be an increase in the numbers of CCTV cameras. There will be a rationalisation of their placement. We are consulting with the commonwealth on this. We want to cooperate with them in relation to some of their views on how CCTV cameras might be better utilised throughout the city.

In addition, I hope that we get a far better feel, because the vast majority of CCTV cameras in the ACT—indeed anywhere in Australia, perhaps in the world—are owned and operated by the private sector. That is very much the case here in the city. There is a network of CCTV cameras throughout the city within the private sector. Yet, we, as a community or a government, have no way of tracking or knowing where they are, how they are utilised, what the network is and how government owned and operated CCTV cameras might better link with the network of CCTV cameras in private operation.

We will be looking at that range of issues. I expect an outcome to be an increase in the number of CCTV cameras, and a far more rigorous and strategic networking of cameras currently in existence as well as future cameras.

Sustainable transport plan

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. The government has announced it will soon be calling tenders for the real-time information system for the ACT’s bus network. Would you please tell the Assembly how real-time information is another demonstration of the government’s commitment to the sustainable transport plan?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. It is an important question because the government is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to the improvement of public transport in the ACT. Of course, we always hear criticism from those opposite. How much money did they spend on public transport when they were in office? I think they actually reduced funding to public transport, not increased it. They put fares up and reduced funding.

This initiative is designed to significantly improve public transport in the ACT. The budget has allocated just over $6 million for the introduction of a real-time passenger

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