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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 30 March 2017) . . Page.. 1354 ..

The numbers tell the story in the ACT. The government has been investing in housing and investing in public housing renewal. We have applications that make up 20 per cent of our housing stock. While I would rather see these application numbers for housing be smaller and the wait times shorter, members should note that compared to others we are doing pretty well.

In New South Wales their wait list is 53 per cent of their stock—60,000 people—and the response from them is to continue to outsource and privatise. In Western Australia, tragically, it is 70 per cent of public housing stock. Thank goodness the Labor Party has been elected over there.

Why is this important to us? Around a quarter of the people who seek housing and homelessness support in the ACT come from interstate. That is right. Generous Canberrans offer a hand when Liberal governments turn people away.

Labor is proud to be different on this matter. Because of our housing system we have by far the lowest ratio of rough sleepers in Australia, around 30 people, and we support them every day where they are. We have a proud history under Labor of doing the right thing by the people who need it, and we will continue to do so.

ACT Policing—Civic patrol capacity

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. It was reported in the Canberra Times recently that assaults within the city centre have increased significantly from 281 in 2014 to 430 in 2016. How many police are currently on the city beat team, and how many are rostered on at peak times?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Wall for his question. It is an important question, and it is important that we resource our police as best we can for these operations. Indeed, that is why we provided extra resources for ACT Policing in the last budget and, of course, I look forward to support from my cabinet colleagues in the next budget cabinet for resources for ACT Policing.

With the numbers in particular for city beat squad, I would have to take that on notice and come back to the chamber.

MR WALL: Minister, to what extent has the overall police presence changed in the city centre since 2014?

MR GENTLEMAN: Since 2014 things have changed quite a bit. ACT Policing are using the intelligence-led policing process, which means that they look at intelligence for their operations in the city centre. They use the intelligence provided to them by ACT government. That includes our CCTV systems, of course, and any information and intelligence provided by the community, as well as other sources.

So it has changed quite a bit since 2014. Beat squad, of course, has been an historic squad in the ACT and has done a fantastic job. ACT Policing continues to do a fantastic job in our city centre.

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