Page 3490 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
ACT Policing—alcohol enforcement
MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for police. Minister, in 2010 you dramatically increased fees for liquor licences, making it clear that all of the increased tax would be used to pay for new work by the Office of Regulatory Services and to create the police alcohol crime targeting team. ORS says that, together with existing fees, the new fees would also pay for city beat police. Given the amalgamation of the police alcohol crime targeting team and the city beat team due to chronic understaffing, will the savings made by the government now be returned to the affected hospitality businesses?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Lawder for the question. The premise of Ms Lawder’s question is simply incorrect. The fact is there has been no diminution or reduction in alcohol crime targeting activities by ACT police. We still have more police on the beat as a result of this government’s reforms. We still have a dedicated team of 10 police focusing on alcohol crime as well as supporting general public order duties in the Civic area.
So there has been no diminution in policing services. There has been no reduction in the number of police, and the premise of Ms Lawder’s question is simply wrong.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Minister, could you outline on what the government will spend the hospitality industry’s money?
MR CORBELL: Could you repeat the question, please?
MS LAWDER: Minister, if those savings are not returned, on what will this government spend the hospitality industry’s money?
MR CORBELL: Again, the premise of Ms Lawder’s question is wrong. There are no savings. The money is going towards 10 extra police. Those 10 extra police are on the beat. They are doing their job. They are enforcing alcohol-related crime and violence matters and they are delivering results because we have seen, since the government introduced its liquor licensing reforms, a drop in alcohol-related crime and violence. That is what this community wants to see. Those opposite oppose these reforms, they oppose risk-based licensing, they oppose mechanisms to drive down the level of alcohol-related crime and violence in our community. But our reforms and the extra police are delivering the results. Alcohol-related crime and violence is down in this city over the last 18 months because of the reforms introduced by this government.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, given that you announced the alcohol crime targeting team with great fanfare—
MADAM SPEAKER: Preamble.