Page 2921 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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The 2015-16 budget has continued to support the operational capability of ACT Policing. We have committed $3.4 million over four years to supplement funding required for enabling services provided to ACT Policing from the Federal Police. These enabling services directly support the operational capacity of ACT Policing and include finance, human resources, ICT, operational support, high tech crime and forensic services.

These important enabling functions support things such as crime scene examinations, computer analysis, scientific examinations, ballistics and cyber support capabilities. In addition other corporate functions such as finance, human resources and ICT services also directly contribute to ACT Policing’s ability to provide quality police services to the ACT. This budget provides over $200,000 in capital upgrade funding for ACT Policing facilities.

Both the ESA and ACT Policing provide integral services to our community and do so in a way that is second to none across the country, and this budget reflects that.

In closing—I will not use my full second 10 minutes; I am sure the attorney wants to talk on this item as well—in response to some of the comments that have come from those opposite in the debate, I find it deeply saddening that Brendan Smyth is so dismissive—


MS BURCH: Sorry, Mr Smyth—is so dismissive of and disrespectful to the Commissioner of our Emergency Services Agency. The way he described the strategic reform agenda was appalling. This is a strategic reform agenda that the commissioner has put significant time and effort into, and the chief officers across the four disciplines have put significant time and effort in as well. Mr Smyth comes into this place and is completely disrespectful. The language and his attitude to it are really quite appalling. I think it tells the true attitude of the Canberra Liberals and of Mr Smyth to emergency services.

He stands up under the guise of reading a letter from the UFU and makes dismissive comments such as, “This won’t work,” and, “We don’t need this.” This is a service that delivers the best emergency response times across the country. This is a service whereby, each and every day, the men and women, paid and volunteer alike, put on a uniform to help this community. All the Canberra Liberals can do is muster up derision and disrespect for the commissioner and for those men and women in the service. They will pretend to do it to support them but it is not the reality, because the way they speak about the leadership of the ESA is simply appalling.

I have not stood in this place and said anything bad about the services. Mr Smyth, yesterday and today, continues to talk down the service. Mr Smyth may reflect and say he has had correspondence from this and that. Let me assure members of this place that the correspondence to my office shows that the men and women across the emergency services are heartily sick of Mr Smyth and his talking down of the service. We saw it again yesterday. The men and women in uniform and their families had to see Mr Smyth again on last night’s news talking down the service. They are heartily sick of it.

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