Page 742 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008
Indeed, it is worth highlighting that this new roster arrangement replaces the former inflexible five-team roster which was based on a pattern of 10 and 12-hour shifts and which has been in place since 2004.
This change provides for a six-team, 10-hour shift pattern, including six teams of team leader-sergeant and 10 constables per team. This is the very significant increase we have been able to put in place. It is a good result for the community. People want to see their police available—
Mr Pratt: This is what you have been saying for seven years.
MR CORBELL: at times when—
Mrs Dunne: If you say it often enough, even Simon Corbell gets to learn it.
MR CORBELL: there are a lot of people about in the city centre, in Kingston and in Manuka. I know they do not like it, Mr Speaker, but their record when it comes to police numbers is absolutely appalling. They have never, never delivered the increase that this government has delivered since we have been in government—an extra 107 police on the beat.
I simply challenge those opposite to go through and look at the record of the Carnell government and those great law and order tub thumpers like Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak and Mr Humphries when they were the responsible ministers. How many police did they put on the beat? How many extra patrol cars did they put into service for the Canberra community? They simply cannot match our record. That is because we have treated seriously the need to improve police resourcing for the Canberra community.
The new investment in policy means more police available at those peak times. The good thing about this system, of course, is that it is not at the expense of other areas of the policing effort. In fact, it is simply about aligning the resources in a more effective way, as well as taking advantage of that very large increase in police numbers that has been put into place by this government and which is now reaching its conclusion.
In fact, there are still 10 extra police positions to be funded in next year’s budget. That has already been highlighted in previous budgets, and that will come on stream in terms of recruitment next financial year. Then we will have completed that full additional complement for ACT Policing. But we are already seeing the results on the ground, with 16 extra patrol cars and an extra 44 officers when they are needed, particularly at those peak times. That is what is making the difference in terms of improved police presence and that will continue to assist our community to feel confident in the coverage and capacity of ACT Policing.
MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?
MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how is it possible for ACT Policing to implement these changes?