Page 2854 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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So the police themselves are saying that they do not have enough resources. You talk to front-line staff at AFPA and they say that they need tasers at the front line. And what is the response of this government? Cut, cut, cut so that they can put $21 million into light rail. They are saying they have got enough money for that. Meanwhile, they are cutting $15 million, as it is now net $12 million, from ACT Policing. Shame on you!

As I have mentioned, I have been talking to police around this town. Let me make the observation that when I talk to them, the response I am getting from them is that they are now confronted by the worst minister they have ever had. The response I am getting from people I speak to involved in ACT Policing is that this minister is a joke, that this is a minister who is not supporting them, who is cutting them, and who does not understand the sorts of operations the police have to conduct.

This minister is incapable of running this portfolio and while she continues to cut police, while she continues to disrespect our police and while she continues to allow the sorts of cuts in staffing that mean that front-line police officers continue to be putting themselves in harm’s way without the necessary resources, you will continue to see the sorts of concerns coming back about this minister that we hear on a regular basis. She is laughing. She thinks it is funny. She thinks it is a big joke. She thinks it is funny that tonight police will be going out there without the tasers that they have called for, without the staff that they need to back them up because they are being cut, confronting ice addicts, trying to deal with domestic violence issues across this town and responding to a failure in legislation to keep police safe.

What we have is a government that is dragging the chain. The government is not listening to the community and is not listening, through this place, to us. Be it tasers, be it bikie legislation, be it resourcing; we say this is what is needed because we are listening to the community. This government ignore us and then at some later stage they acknowledge we are right and, dragged kicking and screaming, they finally implement issues way too late.

Another example of that, a very clear example, is that issue of the fifth Supreme Court judge. I think it was Mr Seselja as the shadow Attorney-General that said, “We’ve listened to the Law Society, we’ve listened to the Bar Association, we’ve done the work. There is a need for a fifth Supreme Court judge.” And what did we get from those opposite? Silence, ignorance, denial and a refusal to appoint the fifth Supreme Court judge. What do we see in the budget this year? Years after we called for it, years after we called for a fifth Supreme Court judge, finally this government comes to the table.

In so many areas, be it the fifth Supreme Court judge, be it tackling the scourge of ice, be it domestic violence, be it issues of tasers, be it motorcycle gang laws, it is the opposition that is leading the way and leading the calls and it is this government that is dragging its heels and not listening to the community.

I will give you another example, for those who still remain unconvinced. That is the issue of random roadside drug testing. It was those opposite that voted against random

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