Page 533 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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The Chief Minister and I have made it very clear that we would not allow this to happen again. This is not the first time that the previous operators have come cap in hand six weeks before the event and said, “We do not have enough money. We cannot make it happen. It is not going to happen unless you give us more money.” This time we have made an assessment that there was a risk of the event not going ahead, and we had alternative arrangements ready to go should the Canberra Balloon Fiesta indicate, as they did in writing, that they could not go ahead with the event.

Mr Smyth hates that. He hates that mismanagement. Mr Pratt hates that, too. I repeat the point that this Liberal opposition are determined to see this event fail and are determined to undermine this event, to undermine a local ballooning company of more than 20 years experience, and to undermine what is a crucial part of the event calendar for Canberra in autumn.

It will be a fantastic event. It will be wonderful to see record levels of community involvement, most particularly through the mass balloon ascension as part of the Olympic torch relay on 24 April. I look forward to celebrating this event with thousands of Canberrans who, I know, will enjoy it. I hope that, by the time the event arrives in April, the opposition have got over their little sook and will enjoy the event, too.

ACT Policing—performance

MS MacDONALD: My question is to Mr Corbell in his capacity as Attorney-General. Can the minister advise the Assembly on ACT Policing’s progress in tackling the problems of burglary, break and enter and car theft offences in Canberra?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms MacDonald for her question. I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that the latest criminal justice statistics, which I tabled in this place yesterday, show that Canberra is now experiencing its lowest level of burglary and break-and-enter offences for the past decade. Burglary and break-and-enter offences are now down by 16 per cent. This is the lowest 12-month figure for 10 years. It equates to over 800 homes not being burgled in the ACT in the past 12 months compared to previous years.

I want to extend to ACT Policing my very strong congratulations on a very significant effort to target and tackle the issue of burglary and theft in our community. In particular, I want to acknowledge that this government’s investment in additional police for the ACT is clearly making a very significant difference on the ground. I am sure that many Canberrans would be pleased to know that 800 fewer homes were burgled or had thefts this year as a result of the strategies the government has put in place through its property theft crime reduction strategy and additional policing numbers.

Let me just look at those figures more clearly. In relation to burglary and break and enter, the total number of offences was 4,100 in the 12 months to December last year compared to 4,860 offences in the 12 months to December 2006—800 fewer offences, or a 16 per cent decrease.

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