Page 2919 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013
We are meant to have scales that are in balance, but in this jurisdiction over the last 12 years of this government we have got out of balance. We have seen the victims of crime and those who are endeavouring to maintain justice within our community being let down by this government.
It is an incremental slide; it is a bit here and it is a bit there. It is about taking some money out of the DPP, it is about taking some money out of the police, it is about not appointing a fifth Supreme Court judge, it is about not delivering a jail that has the right capacity. There are a myriad of different things that this government have done that have eroded the capability of the justice system to provide the justice and community safety that they should be doing.
I think there are some very good recommendations in the report. I am disappointed that in the majority of cases the government are not going to adopt them. But from the point of view of the opposition, we will continue to articulate the case for those measures and we will not let this government get away with what they have got away with to some extent over the last 12 years, with the support of their Green allies—that is, this further erosion of our justice system.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (7.48): I want to address the Emergency Services Agency portion of the Justice and Community Safety budget. There are a number of recommendations in the report on ESA. The first one looks at the government investigating an additional Bronto, which the government, I am pleased to say, has noted rather than not agreed to. I am told that modern firefighting technique, particularly in the high-rise context, suggests that you can use one high-rise platform but that two are preferable because if something goes wrong and somebody is at the top of a high-rise platform that is not working, there are all sorts of dilemmas. Particularly in a city where more and more high-rise buildings are coming into the community, it is important that we have the assets should they be needed. So it is pleasing to see the government note it rather than just outright say no.
Recommendation 48 looks at capabilities. This ties in particularly with the Auditor-General’s report, which said that the government were not compliant with the Emergencies Act because they did not detail in the plans all the resources that are required to look after the ACT. Recommendation 48 says:
The Committee recommends that the ACT Government release all internal reviews and documents relating to the capability and funding of each of the four emergency services of the Emergency Services Agency.
What was the government’s response? We are in this new era of openness and accountability, of transparency, collaboration, participation. And what is the answer? It is:
They are not going to let it be agreed to. The minister took this on notice so I am not surprised by the response. The response to the question on notice was, “We have