Page 4299 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2005

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Minister, given your claim that the ACT cannot afford its own stand-alone forensic facilities, have you ensured that the new ACT policing agreement will allow for adequate and timely access to forensics analysis? If not, why not?

MR HARGREAVES: I congratulate Mr Pratt on the depth of his research analysis skills in these very detailed things; he has looked up the gospel according to the Canberra Times, and nothing else. In fact, Mr Pratt has picked up a throwaway comment by one of our magistrates and thought, “You beauty. I’ve got myself a trout on this line. I’ll have a go at this one.” As usual, Mr Pratt blows things out of proportion, creates straw men, all to be torn down at his pleasure. All he really does is win himself the goose of the year award.

Mr Mulcahy: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think that yesterday you ruled that term inappropriate and that you directed the minister to withdraw it. I suggest the same should apply today.

MR SPEAKER: I think that referring to members in that way is inappropriate. Withdraw it.

MR HARGREAVES: I withdraw it. Mr Pratt is remiss in not putting the facts up-front when he makes these untimely statements designed to do nothing but shake the public’s confidence in the police. These are the facts: one, we are governed by the self-government act, which explicitly states that we will use the AFP as our community police; two, the AFP act, the second piece of federal legislation, says that the AFP will provide the ACT with community policing—

Mr Pratt: Is he misleading us?

Mr Stefaniak: Wouldn’t have a clue. Probably.

MR HARGREAVES: If Mr Pratt suggests to his colleagues that I am misleading, I invite him to bring forward a motion. I suggest that he does not have the intestinal fortitude to put up or shut up. Mr Pratt says that we receive secondary consideration in the matter of access to the forensic services. Incidentally, these services come out of Weston. He does not provide any proof, any reference, to say where on earth he got that outlandish statement that we do not receive the preference we are due under the agreements. He insinuates that the national AFP’s demands will supersede our own. But he says nothing by way of reference to any authority he has to make those statements.

If Mr Pratt cannot quote an authoritative source in this house, he ought to be ashamed of himself. In the AFP we have the most talented, the most educated and the most experienced officers in forensics, ballistics, SRS and a range of services on which we can call in accordance with the policing arrangements and the policing agreements. I am satisfied that the Commissioner of the AFP and the Chief Police Officer of this town give due weight to the requirements of ACT community policing. I have every confidence that there is not a choice in that matter, as indicated by Mr Pratt.

Mr Pratt is very good at standing up in this place and saying, “We’re not getting this. We’re not getting that.” Next thing you know, he will want a little man in a white coat

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