Page 4307 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2005

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MRS DUNNE: I ask a supplementary question. Treasurer, will new initiatives in the next budget be limited by your ability to raise taxes or undertake borrowings?

MR QUINLAN: I think I have already answered that question. I do not intend to be ruling in and ruling out matters for the budget that is due next May.


MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The new $8.2 million Woden police station was officially opened on 2 November. Minister, could you please inform the Assembly about the features of the new station and the police and community response to the new facility?

MR HARGREAVES: The new police station in Woden, worth $8.2 million, is a state-of-the-art facility that will make a considerable contribution to community safety in Canberra. The government has long recognised that, to do their job well, our police need the best possible facilities. Anyone familiar with the old police station would agree that it was time to rebuild. I thank the officers and staff at Woden for their patience during the transition. It was not easy and they put up with a lot.

The new station has been designed in close consultation with police to suit officers and their operational requirements. The 2,260 square metres station’s customised design features begin with the front office, where police deal directly with public inquiries. A second glassed off area behind the counter serves as a secure environment where telephone and data inquiries are processed. Of interest concerning the front counter area is that the glass is not one way. In other police stations it is one way. It is two-way, so that the people attending that police station will be able to see for themselves whether the officers that would normally attend to them are busy or not busy. I think that has been a giant step forward.

The ground floor is designed to satisfy the demands of a busy metropolitan station. Offenders and suspects can be brought by vehicle directly into the secure compound area at the rear and under cover to the processing area. The new station boasts the latest in secure watch-house facilities for prisoners. People brought into custody will be secured in cells with a large, inbuilt front glass section, where they will be under visual surveillance by officers as well as under scrutiny by CCTV cameras in each cell.

Directly opposite the cells is an area dedicated to processing the information of offenders or suspects that are brought into custody. From the processing area, arresting officers will be able to process all the information relevant to those in detention and visually monitor their behaviour. Visual display terminals in this area are hooked into the station’s CCTV network, providing a constant scan of each cell and allowing one officer to monitor all those in detention.

The station’s upper floor houses the administrative area, muster areas, working areas and recreational areas. The territory investigation group detectives have a specific area, including a large and separate major incident room. There are several briefing rooms, one equipped with high-definition audiovisual equipment, and a muster room for the officers. The long hours and physical demands of policing are such that the station is

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