Page 758 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2006

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Policing—use of CCTV

MR PRATT: My question is directed to the minister for police. According to the report released publicly on Monday into the hit-and-run incident in Civic, ACT police have revealed that since the deployment of the CCTV system there have been numerous maintenance issues and that two of the cameras in the Civic area have been removed. Minister, what action have you taken to resolve the maintenance issues relating to CCTV cameras? What action have you taken to reinstall the two CCTV cameras that have been removed from the Civic area?

MR HARGREAVES: As crazy as it may seem, I sometimes have difficulty accepting that because Mr Pratt makes an assertion it has to be the truth. With that, I will use the usual suspicion that I was born with: try to determine the level of detail that Mr Pratt wants and take his question on notice.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Following on from a number of these issues, minister, why have you allowed the CCTV system to deteriorate to such an extent that the police have been forced to reveal shortcomings about the availability and maintenance of CCTV cameras?

MR HARGREAVES: It is a little unreasonable for those opposite to hold me accountable for the efficacy of each and every CCTV camera in Civic, or anywhere else for that matter. I do not say to the police, to Urban Services, to the banks, to Woolworths or to the Canberra Centre, “Oh dear, I don’t think you should have that particular one maintained.”

Mr Pratt: We’re talking about your cameras, minister.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, I warn you.

MR HARGREAVES: I reject Mr Pratt’s notion that we have let the CCTV cameras go down. He has picked out a statement by a police officer—one statement—and he is now making a complete case around that. We understand that the issue of closed-circuit television surveillance around the Civic area is more than just trying to pick up footage on cars speeding through intersections. It is about social misbehaviour; it is a terrorism-prevention method or whatever. At the moment we have a review on foot to see how we can stitch together all of those. Of course, when we try to stitch together all of the CCTV camera opportunities, there will be the issues of their monitoring and ongoing maintenance, and what can be done with the footage to make sure that the privacy of individuals inadvertently captured on those films is protected. I think I have answered Mr Pratt’s question.

Industrial relations

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Minister, the federal workplace relations minister, Kevin Andrews, suggested yesterday that the commencement of the federal work choices changes would have little impact. Can the minister tell the Assembly if there has been any impact in the ACT?

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