Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3291 ..
Appropriation Bill 2017-2018
Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2017-2018
Estimates 2017-2018—Select Committee report
Estimates 2017-2018—Select Committee—government response]
Debate resumed from 22 August 2017.
MADAM SPEAKER: I remind members that in debating order of the day No 1, executive business, they may also address their remarks to executive business order of the day No 2, and Assembly business orders of the day relating to the report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2017-2018 and the government’s response.
Schedule 1—Appropriations—Proposed expenditure.
Justice and Community Safety Directorate—1.15.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (6.07): There is no doubt that the JACS directorate is one of the most important parts of this government, notable for both its size and functions. We talk a lot about health and education in this place, and rightly so, but you can see the importance of the JACS directorate when things go wrong. We have seen some pretty horrific things happen in our suburbs of late as a result of OMCG crime. We have also seen some statistics in relation to crime going very much in the wrong direction. Mrs Jones will no doubt speak to that when she refers to the police, but that was the subject of a question today in question time.
It is very disappointing that the JACS directorate is being subjected to such significant cuts, labelled by some as an efficiency dividend and by others as efficiency measures—it does not really matter—ultimately what we are seeing are cuts. When you look at some of the spending initiatives of this government and some of the dodgy deals that we have seen go on and hundreds of millions being spent on trams, it is wrong—it is a simple word to use—to then be cutting so deeply into the JACS directorate which, as I said, has such important functions.
Just in this budget—noting that these cuts have been going on for some time—legislation policy and programs were cut by $253,000: safer families; $16,000; security and emergency management, $41,000; crime prevention, $12,000; Government Solicitor’s office, $172,000; Parliamentary Counsel’s office, $92,000; DPP—the subject of the motion we had in the Assembly today based on recommendations from Ms Le Couteur and others—cut by $228,000; and the Human Rights Commission, $166,000. Here is a government that will not implement anti-consorting laws, which are a very important measure, because they are so concerned about human rights, but on the other hand they cut the Human Rights Commission by $166,000.