Page 3248 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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The amendments are minor and technical in nature. I have already spoken to the substance of the amendments in my closing remarks in the in-principle debate. I refer members to those comments and commend the amendments to the Assembly.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.05 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

ACT Policing—alcohol enforcement

MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, in the territory’s 2010-11 budget, your government provided more than $5 million over four years for 10 extra police to specialise in inspection and enforcement of responsible service of alcohol practices in licensed premises on weekends. You set the new liquor licensing fees at that time to provide for recovery of that cost. Attorney, when were those 10 police officers taken off their specialist role, what was the justification for it, and was it a ministerial or an operational decision?

MADAM SPEAKER: The Attorney-General, the minister for police, Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. This is an operational decision by ACT Policing. There has been no diminution or reduction in the expertise of the dedicated alcohol crime targeting capability of the former alcohol crime targeting team. I was advised by ACT Policing of its decision in the last week or so.

The decision is one which is a sensible one on the part of the Chief Police Officer. The Chief Police Officer is seeking to deploy his resources in the most effective way possible. Of course, it makes sense that, particularly on a Friday or Saturday night, the alcohol crime targeting team, which is in operation often in the Civic area, will work with and cooperate with the city beats team in any event. The Chief Police Officer has taken the decision to combine his resources to provide the strongest possible capability, particularly in Civic on a Friday and Saturday night, but this does not result in any reduction in the capability of the new dedicated combined team to focus on alcohol-related crime and violence, and those activities will continue, I am advised, unchanged.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what is the annual cost of providing those specialist services? How much of it is recovered in liquor licensing fees?

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