Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 February 2008) . . Page.. 185 ..
It is hard for us to judge whether or not it is less violent now, the same or more violent, but I think what is true and what came out of this process very strongly and very clearly is that there are things that can be done. There are simple things that can improve things.
The other thing that I neglected to mention was the issue of CCTV cameras—expanding them and making sure that they work well as a deterrent. That is part of the answer. There was a feeling that to date CCTV cameras have improved the situation somewhat.
Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would call on the government—and this motion calls on the government—to really take note of the outcomes of the roundtable, to work with the opposition and the community in a constructive way to get positive outcomes.
But to finish what I was saying in terms of importance, it is not just important for the young people and for parents to feel their kids are safe, although that is of crucial importance, I think it is also important that the community has confidence that our nightspots are safe. I think, for our tourism sector and for businesses, it is important that that message gets out there that where there are problems we look to address them and address them quickly and address them in a constructive and holistic way, not just in a knee-jerk fashion. If there is a problem at a taxi rank, we fix the problem at the taxi rank. That needs to be done, but we also need to look more broadly.
As I said earlier, I think it is a broader discussion we need to have as a community about drug and alcohol-fuelled violence, about the culture of binge drinking, something that has been with us for a long, long time. But we do need to think of how we as a community limit that in some ways and work with our young people in particular to avoid some of the negative excesses that sometimes go with that kind of behaviour.
I commend the motion to the Assembly. I commend the outcomes of the roundtable. It was a positive discussion. I thank those members of the community who attended, who gave up their time and constructively engaged with the opposition. And I now call on the government to engage with those stakeholders and the opposition in coming up with positive solutions.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.14): I thank Mr Seselja for bringing this motion on for debate today. This has been an issue of ongoing political debate in this place ever since self-government; indeed, it has been an issue in the broader community for much longer. Issues related to violence and alcohol consumption—particularly at night, after dark, in the city and in our other nightclub districts of Manuka and Kingston in particular but not exclusively—have been ongoing issues in our community. As Mr Seselja rightly notes, much of this is driven by cultural issues around the use or abuse of alcohol and what that means in terms of people’s personal behaviour.
I would like to reiterate that the government meets regularly on, and is not a newcomer to, this discussion. The government—I in particular—have met regularly