Page 741 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008

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Mrs Dunne: How many prospective enrolments at Lyons do you have?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Dunne!

MR BARR: I am glad that Mrs Dunne interjected across the chamber.

MR SPEAKER: Take no notice of them, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: There are more enrolments in the preschool program at Lyons this year, in the lead-up to the establishment of the early childhood school, than we have seen at that school for quite some time. That is an important sign. We see that across all of our early childhood schools and we see the outstanding success of the O’Connor cooperative school as a fantastic working model of how this dedicated early childhood focus is a massive asset for our public education system.

The ACT government’s policy of extending government-funded preschool hours from 10 to 12 has returned a massive dividend and nearly an 11 per cent increase in enrolments in the public preschool system, which is fantastic to see. We look forward to working with the Rudd federal Labor government to implement a 15-hour-a-week program and even possibly to access further commonwealth funding around some target initiatives to even further enhance early childhood education in the ACT.

ACT Policing—roster system

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you please advise the Assembly of recent changes to the ACT Policing roster system and how they will benefit the community?

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Indeed, it is a timely question given the additional level of resourcing the government has put into police services here in the ACT—so much so that we now have 107 extra police available here in the ACT since 2004 because of this government’s serious commitment to improve resourcing for our police service.

It is because of this commitment that we have been able to put in place, in cooperation with ACT Policing, a new policing roster for police services in the ACT. It provides for more flexible start and finish times and, importantly, provides for a third roster, which ensures that an extra 44 police officers and 16 extra patrol cars—or an extra four for each of the four police stations across the ACT—are available to respond at those most critical times of the week, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. This additional team allows the use of overlapping shifts in times of peak demand and puts those four extra patrol cars on the road at each of the four major police stations in Belconnen, Tuggeranong, City and Woden.

This initiative has been made possible through a very cooperative approach between ACT Policing, the AFP and the AFPA. The police union has been centrally involved in developing this program, and I would like to thank them in particular for their very hard work in putting together what I believe is an exemplary new roster arrangement.

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