Page 1674 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015
government to do, because it has an effect not just on the citizenry, on the people of the ACT and on law and order; it has a real effect on those that are charged with keeping our community safe.
I commend our police, who, despite facing these cuts, salute and carry on, and continue to go out into our streets knowing that this government, rather than supporting them, is cutting them. Rather than providing extra support for administrative services, it is cutting that. I commend them for continuing to do their job.
We asked the minister, in a question on notice last week, how many jobs were going to be cut, and she would not give us a straight answer. There are rumours going around. There is analysis being done. I think the AFPA have said it will be in the order of 40 jobs. It may be less; it may be more. We need to know what the effect of this is going to be, because every single job that is lost by this government in ACT Policing, whether it is sworn uniformed officers or support staff, will have a twofold effect. Number one is that it will reduce the proactive and effective nature of policing on the street, and number two is that it will put our uniformed members under additional strain.
The AFPA’s members, the front-line police, have a right to know how many police or support staff will be cut from their ranks. And I think the community has a right to know how many support staff are going to be cut from ACT Policing.
I hope we get some straight answers from the minister today. I hope this is not just blown off as being hysterical. I hope we do not see an attack on the AFPA in the same way that the minister has attacked the Education Union. The previous minister dismissed the AFPA’s concerns. I hope we get a genuine response here. I call on this government to put that funding back in the budget. This is not the time to be ripping money out of our police in the ACT. If we want the police out there doing what we want them to do, let us make sure they are resourced adequately and restore the money to ACT Policing.
MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (11.17): I will start—this is probably one of the few areas that Mr Hanson and I will agree on—by paying tribute to ACT Policing and saying thank you for the service that they do for our community. Our community has high expectations and high trust levels in our policing service, the men and women of our force, and rightly so. They are first-rate first responders, but they also have good commitment to making sure that each and every person in our community is safe and cared for. I want to thank them personally—from the most junior officer right through to the senior executive in ACT Policing.
The ACT government is committed to ensuring that ACT residents live in a fair and safe community with the confidence to participate fully in community life without the fear of crime. For 2013-14 the progress report on the ACT property crime reduction strategy that the Attorney-General tabled here last November presented continuing evidence of this government’s strong commitment to and success in reducing property