Page 2709 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008

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Australia are graduating, including eight from the ACT. For them, it marks the beginning of a new career and a new life as AFP officers. More importantly, Mr Speaker, it brings to 175 the number of new ACT police officers to graduate from the college this financial year and further demonstrates the ACT government’s commitment to providing the community with a strong police service.

It is particularly encouraging, Mr Speaker, to see such a diverse range of backgrounds in the people who are choosing to become police officers in the ACT. Some of them have qualifications in criminology and psychology, while others have qualifications in business management, international relations, the law, robotics engineering and various other areas of vocational education. We are also seeing a very pleasing range of age groups ranging from 20 to 40 years. That means the recruits bring a valuable mix of life skills and experience as well as enthusiasm to the role of policing here in the ACT. Their first weeks will, of course, be spent with ACT Policing’s traffic operations, after which they will be assigned to a variety of duties and stations across the ACT.

These 18 new constables graduating tomorrow are on top of the other 18 who graduated two weeks ago on 20 June. What this means and what this shows is that these additional recruits could not have come about without this government’s commitment to provide an additional 107 extra officers to ACT Policing over four years. These additional officers are making a real difference on the ground. They have made it possible, for example, for ACT Policing to introduce its new roster providing more flexible start and finish times, and it means that an extra 44 officers and an extra 16 patrol cars will now be on the street at critical times to help policing here in our community.

This extra capacity allows the use of overlapping shifts in times of peak demand and the capacity to put four extra patrol cars on the road at each of the four major police stations of Belconnen, Tuggeranong, City and Woden during recognised periods of need. This government is proud of its record when it comes to increasing police numbers and the improvement in response times for the Canberra community that we have seen as a consequence. I will be looking forward to seeing these new additional officers join the ranks of ACT Policing tomorrow, and I wish them well in their careers.

Ms Gallagher: I ask that all further questions be put on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Policing—protection orders

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, on 1 July Mr Seselja asked me a question about how many protection orders in the ACT are breached on a yearly basis, and also a supplementary question asking why it was deemed necessary by ACT Policing to issue a media release on Wednesday, 25 June regarding a 35-year-old woman in Ainslie breaching a protection order and whether this was common practice.

The answers to Mr Seselja’s questions are as follows. In relation to the number of protection orders that are breached on a yearly basis, I can provide these figures. For

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