Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2016) . . Page.. 129 ..
funding to police. We know that a direct consequence of that was that staff were lost. This government cut jobs. This government cut jobs in community safety, and now this government is lecturing the Assembly on community safety, having cut jobs in policing.
We know that about 13 or 14 jobs were cut last year. We are expecting the same this year. They are jobs that support police in their very important front-line functions. Indeed police felt so unsafe because of a lack of numbers in Civic that they put in a safety report saying that they felt fearful, saying that there was a dangerous environment for police in Civic because of a lack of numbers, and that has occurred under this government. We know that there have been recent cuts to the property crime section of police, amidst an increase in property crime statistics. So we are being lectured by the government on issues like community safety and property crime when it is actually cutting funding.
We have proposed a number of issues to support community safety and our police but the government has failed to support them. In the midst of the very difficult job that police do, we have said that front-line officers should be given tasers. At the moment they only go to sergeants. And we know that in many instances only acting sergeants are on duty.
Mr Corbell: A point of order.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock. A point of order, Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: I appreciate that the Leader of the Opposition wants to do a “compare and contrast” exercise on law and order, but this motion is actually about the delivery of restorative justice in our community. It is not about anything else.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
Mr Corbell: My point of order is on relevance, Madam Assistant Speaker. Whilst I think it is fair enough for Mr Hanson to make the occasional debating point—I have no problem with that—he does need to remain relevant to the subject matter of the motion.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, you have raised your point of order. Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Madam Assistant Speaker—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: As to the point of order—
MR HANSON: On the point of order, if I may, Madam Assistant Speaker, the motion itself refers to “the ACT’s vision for safer, more connected communities”. This debate is about the safety of communities, of which restorative justice is a part. But if we are talking about the ACT’s vision for the safety of communities, I think that is a reasonably broad debate, and talking about police in a debate about safer communities is relevant.