Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 281 ..
analysing those particular areas of concern, after eight months of those matters being raised continually in this place, the opposition would be severely disappointed in the government. Again, we are happy to put the question on the table now, and we are happy to be told that we are incorrect and that these matters have been addressed. That is why we are debating this, and we want to hear the answers.
The vandalising of bus interchanges is quite extensive, and the incidence of graffiti and broken toilets around the interchanges is clear. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table photographs of two out of three broken toilets in Civic interchange.
MR PRATT: I table the following papers:
Civic—Public toilet—Copies of photographs (4).
I am reliably told that, on the day that these photographs were taken, the third toilet at the Civic interchange was also broken. So 100 per cent of toilets were broken on that day. Bus drivers indicate that this is a regular occurrence. I think I have said in this place before that you would not want to allow your wife, sister or mother to use those particular toilets.
A principle of community safety is the broken windows theory. The broken windows theory is that, if you cannot sort out the graffiti, the vandalism and the broken toilets, you do not have safe environments. Where those environments exist, violence comes next. I call upon the government to work from the ground up in terms of community safety. Look at the theory; look at the principles of the broken window theory.
We have talked about taxi rank safety. I want to finish by looking at general suburban safety. Over the last six years, I have been concerned about hooliganism. I talked earlier about people driving at speed in 50-kilometre-zone streets. I refer particularly to streets where families with children are in the majority, and kids like to use streets to play in. In a number of them, particularly in Chisholm and Gowrie, these are major concerns that are reported quite often.
While I welcome the new suburban ownership program that the police are now exercising, and it would appear there is a stronger community policing strategy in place, there still seems to be a police presence problem. I have received an email from a resident of Conder that was written to me on 14 February. He talks about rocks being thrown through the roof of his house; he says that there are frequent occurrences of urinating on his front doormat; frequent break-ins through the roof of his house when it is vacant; and numerous calls to police and ACT Housing have come to naught. These issues need to be addressed in terms of community safety.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.06): I thank Mr Pratt for putting this MPI on the program today. I begin by stating clearly that the government firmly rejects attempts to sensationalise the issue of community safety in Canberra. It can be very easy to use the individual experiences of those who have been victimised—to turn the spotlight on incidents that occur in a late-night entertainment area, for example—and to characterise these as the