Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) . . Page.. 4800 ..
no longer feasible to keep on running a force on less and less money. I have seen no change in the approach from the minister on this issue.
When it comes to serious bikie and gang-related crimes the ACT government has chosen to act around the edges. The Crimes (Police Powers and Firearms Offence) Amendment Bill 2017 tabled yesterday does not address the key issue. This bill is reactionary and not preventative. We know it is a desperate attempt by the government to make it look like they are doing something while avoiding the laws that will really work. The message from the government is: you will get to shoot people in the streets but you may go to prison afterwards. On organised crime gangs, people expect a lot more. While other states have preventative laws, we only have reactionary laws in the ACT. This leaves lives in our territory vulnerable. We cannot wait for a tragedy to happen before acting when prevention is available to us right now.
If the ACT were to have the high-level anti-consorting laws that are proven to stop those involved in gang activity from meeting they could stop gang violence before it happens and the police would be better off and the money being spent on Taskforce Nemesis could ultimately be spent on baseline policing in the ACT and criminal bikies would no longer be the enormously unsettling issue they are today.
If the Labor-Greens government is a responsible government that takes its role and responsibilities to the people of the ACT seriously and the contract between the people and government that they will not act to protect themselves because the government will do that for them—which is the basis of civilised, democratic government—then it will support this motion. It is evident that this government has lost its way. That is why I am calling on this government and this minister fix funding shortfalls, to commit to keeping ACT Policing funding at least up with inflation and to commit to keeping ACT Policing funding at a reasonable level. This will ensure that our police are not receiving, essentially, cuts in real terms to their funding.
I am calling on the ACT government to justify why it has shown such a lack of support for our police over the past five years, expecting them to achieve more while working for less. Finally, I am calling on the government to report back to the Assembly with its plan to resolve this lack of funding by the end of the 2017 sitting year. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.23): I will not be able to support Mrs Jones’s motion as it appears on the notice paper. It does not recognise the changes in reporting, nor does it recognise ACT Policing’s ever-changing role, their ability to be agile and also the important work their front-line officers provide for the benefit of the whole ACT community. Accordingly, I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That the Assembly”, substitute: