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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1673 ..

was that they robbed Peter to pay Paul. Instead of having that proactive group that was announced with fanfare by Mr Corbell, they got rid of it and rolled it into the city beat, rather than providing any additional resources. So it was basically robbing Peter to pay Paul.

What have we seen since then? We had that appalling situation then. We have seen two things. The $15 million in cuts are biting deep. We have also seen an escalation in what ACT Policing needs to do in this town. We know we have seen an increase in domestic violence, and we know that this is a real issue for our community. There is a strong desire for us to take action on this, and police are at the forefront. It is the police who need to respond to these events, and respond quickly, in a timely way, when mostly women are in fear of aggression and violence.

We have seen the scourge of ice increase in this town and throughout Australia. Again, when people are taking ice and are out of control, it is police who are at the forefront, putting their lives at risk to confront those people affected by ice. Of course, it is not just about confronting the people who are taking the ice; it is the police that have to go out there and break the ice dealers and go looking for the labs that are making the ice in the first place.

We have seen the advent of new outlaw motorcycle gangs. Whereas previously we had one gang, we have seen the emergence of others. That is a worrying sign. I think it speaks to the fact that again police resources are stretched. We have the advent of increased motorcycle gang activity in this town. We have seen king hits; we have seen problems continuing in various areas of Civic and beyond.

We are cutting police numbers when they are already stretched in our community, when we are experiencing such an increase in demand for their services that we are saying, “We need the police to respond to domestic violence; we need the police to respond to ice; we need the police to respond to outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

While the government are agreeing to all of that and are pushing an agenda—and in some cases we certainly agree with their agenda, with respect to domestic violence and so on—they are not adequately resourcing the people who are responsible for doing that.

I would like to take a little time to commend our police, because there are few more difficult and dangerous tasks that any member of the community can do. I reflect on this as someone who has served in the armed services. It is a different scenario because you go away, maybe for weeks or months at a time, and you deal with difficult situations while you are away.

I find it extraordinary that members of our police force have days when they are dealing with traffic accidents that can be horrendous, dealing with domestic violence issues, dealing with drug addicts, dealing with some of the most difficult, complex and dangerous issues in our society, and then they go home to their loved ones. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be. They are facing pressures because they are stretched. They are being placed under extra pressure because support services are being ripped out by this government. That is an extraordinarily mean thing for this

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