Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1374 ..
recruiting last year but we are doing more recruiting this year, to ensure that we have enough numbers on the road. Of course, there is a great deal of support, in both technical capability and service capability, outside our sworn officers as well.
MR WALL: Minister, do you stand by the comments made by the AFPA president and the comments from frontline staff that there simply are not enough resources?
MR GENTLEMAN: I stand by the comments of the Chief Police Officer in the ACT, who says that she is putting full support behind her officers. I think that that is appropriate. I support the Chief Police Officer in the work that she is doing. In fact, she said that the ACT is still one of the safest jurisdictions in which to live. So while obviously there are some concerns among the service regarding the trends—
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, no conversation across the chamber, thank you. Mr Gentleman, do you have more to offer?
MR GENTLEMAN: As I said, we continue to invest in our police services across the ACT. As we know, Canberrans recognise that they are in the safest city in Australia. That came forward in the ROGS data last year. This is what officers on the ground are telling me as well. I meet with them regularly not only at station but also at public events. They have my full support.
MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General and relates to the recent appointment of an additional magistrate. Attorney, you are quoted as saying that the new magistrate would increase access to justice and timeliness in the courts system. However, the ACT’s Chief Magistrate said that this will not be enough to improve access to justice and will only maintain the status quo because it will merely replace the work of two special magistrates. She said that at least nine magistrates were needed to see even a slight increase in efficiency. Why did you say that there would be an increase in access to justice and timeliness in the courts system when the Chief Magistrate has stated categorically that there will not be?
MR RAMSAY: I thank the shadow attorney-general for his question and for his interest in timely access to justice, which clearly is something that is a high priority for this government. As the shadow attorney-general has referred to, I have announced that the government will be providing significant resources in the upcoming budget for an eighth full-time resident magistrate. That is $3.1 million over the next four years. In addition, there will be $1.3 million to Legal Aid and $987,000 to the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to that the government has also reappointed the two special magistrates to continue sitting.
We are most confident that the combination of all of the resources we are providing will increase the access to timely justice. We have heard the Chief Magistrate’s comments. We will continue to work with the Chief Magistrate, as we do with the