Page 602 - Week 02 - Thursday, 19 February 2015

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The advice from ACT Policing has not fundamentally changed. The level of outlaw motorcycle gang activity here in the ACT is low. The level of organised crime activity here in the ACT is low, but we have seen a number of disturbing incidents in recent weeks. Police are responding appropriately to those. As I have indicated in other places, the government keeps its options—

Mr Hanson: Instead of being progressive, you are going to be reactionary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson!

MR CORBELL: The government keeps its options open. I note Mr Hanson would appear to be alluding to the comments attributed to me, accurately, in the Canberra Times I think last week or earlier this week. All I would say in relation to those matters is that I have, as attorney, remained proactive. Last year—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson! You have asked your question.

MR CORBELL: Last year, prior to these most recent events, I asked my directorate to commence the development of options for law reform in relation to further legislative responses to ensure that police are able to remain proactive in their response to organised crime. That was well before the shootings that the member has referred to. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what advice do you give to the community who may be fearful of bikie gang activity in their neighbourhoods?

MR CORBELL: Twofold. First of all, I would acknowledge their concerns. Any level of criminality, no matter how infrequent or low level, is a concern. Therefore, the government and police are reacting very proactively with a dedicated task force and dedicated investigations to deal with these matters.

The other point I would make to Canberrans is that the advice from ACT Policing—

Ms Berry: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please. A point of order, Ms Berry.

Ms Berry: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just heard a member of the opposition refer to the minister as Sheriff Simon and I would ask that you ask him to withdraw.

MADAM SPEAKER: I do not think it is unparliamentary to refer to someone as sheriff. It is not according to the form and practice of this place, but it is not something that I would ask anyone to withdraw. I would remind people again that the form and practice of this place is to refer to people by their proper titles. But it is not something that I would ask to be withdrawn. Mr Corbell, on the answer to the question.

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