Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) . . Page.. 4825 ..
evidence-based decisions for policing in the ACT over the coming years. My suggestion would be that, for now, the Assembly should not interfere in the process that is currently underway and that we actually await the outcomes of that process.
I certainly agree, and the Greens do, that the police need to be adequately resourced. They perform an incredibly important job in keeping our community safe in what, at times, can be extremely difficult circumstances. I would like to acknowledge and thank ACT Policing for their service to the community. However, in order to reduce crime and to assist police in performing their duties, we also need to be making a range of other investments, be they educational programs or social programs or justice programs. That is something that the Greens think is an important part of this discussion because, if our objective is to make the community safe, simply giving more money to the police is not the sole or only pathway to do that.
Mrs Jones interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, please. Mr Rattenbury, can you continue?
MR RATTENBURY: Right across government there are a range of ways we need to make investments to make the community safer and to reduce crime. I think that notion of safety is quite a broad one. I think we need to be mindful of those who are the victims of crime, the ripple effect that crimes in our community can have and to some extent those who are involved in crime themselves, who often end up involved in poor decision-making, perhaps inadvertently. There are those who simply do the wrong thing, but I think there are others who get caught up for the wrong reasons.
The point I want to make here is that in some ways the nature of Mrs Jones’s motion does not recognise the choices that have to be made, and there are a range of choices that do have to be made when it comes to government expenditure. I want to make the observation that the Greens believe that simply giving more money to the police is not the only way to fix safety issues in our community. The notion of justice reinvestment, that idea that spending money up-front can in fact avoid a lot of costs down the line, is a really important part of what we think can be done when it comes to making our community safer. Members have heard me speak a number of times in this place about the value of justice reinvestment and why I believe it is a good idea. I do not intend to go on about it at length today, but I think it is important in this conversation.
Mrs Jones has made a number of interjections now, despite the fact that I listened to her speech in silence, even though I disagreed with a number of the points that she made. She said that was not the point she was making. She can make the point she wants to make. The point I would like to add to the conversation—and I think I am entitled to do so—is that when we are talking about community safety there are a number of elements that we need to talk to. When it comes to talking about budget allocation there are a number of choices that have to be made. The more money that goes to ACT Policing the less money there is for some of these other matters, because the budget is a finite thing. That is simply the observation I am seeking to make in this debate, and I think it is one that is worth making.