Page 4609 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council—Theft WATCH, Newsletter No 17 November 2005.

The latest Theft Watch report states that the ACT performed the worst of all jurisdictions in the September quarter, recording its second consecutive quarterly increase, with more than 200 extra thefts. The report says that this was an increase of 44 per cent. Minister, why did you tell the Assembly that car thefts were down when the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council says they are actually up by a massive 44 per cent?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I confess that I have not seen the figures that Mr Pratt has produced and will be having a look at them. I also have to confess to you that whenever Mr Pratt comes into this place with figures I instantly suspect them, because he is very prone to picking figures out of the air. Sometimes he picks annual growth figures and sometimes he picks other figures. For example, with his police numbers figures, sometimes he says that they are at a point in time and I do not know what point in time Mr Pratt is talking about.

I will look at that piece of paper when it comes round and compare those figures with what I consider to be fairly reliable figures. Those figures are the ones provided to me by the Australian Federal Police through the Australian Bureau of Statistics. I also undertake to examine New Idea to see the next set of figures that Mr Pratt will produce.

MR PRATT: Minister, when will you concede that the increase in car thefts shows that current policing strategies to deal with thefts are not succeeding due to your failure as minister to increase and retain police numbers?

MR HARGREAVES: I believe the police in this town, contrary to the assertions of Mr Pratt, are actually doing a fantastic job.

Mr Pratt: Yes, but you’re not.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt!

MR HARGREAVES: Did you call him Beaker or something like that the other day, Mr Quinlan? You didn’t?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves!

Mr Pratt: Is that the best you can do? Is that your total defence, John?

Mr Stefaniak: I’d like to be Fozzie Bear.

Mr Quinlan: You have got that, mate.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, you asked the question. Let Mr Hargreaves answer it.

Mr Quinlan: It’s a walk-up start for you.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves is not being helped by Mr Quinlan, either.

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