Page 4557 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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ACT Policing also has about 20 Indigenous members. One of them, Matthew Saul, has a talent for Rugby. He was recently selected to play in the Indigenous Australian Invitational Rugby Team, a Rugby Union tour across Canada and the USA. This will enable Matthew to have a cultural exchange with other Indigenous communities.

As Matthew has said, this experience will allow him to bring back knowledge, leadership skills and lessons to his community, and help him to give back and to become a positive influence and role model for the next generation. I want to thank ACT Policing for their hard work.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what role did Chief Police Officer Justine Saunders play in this range of engagement?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cheyne for her question and her considered support for the former Chief Police Officer. Assistant Commissioner Saunders led her troops from the front and is widely respected across the community and this Assembly. She helped make ACT Policing a better force and, I know, will be missed. I worked closely with Assistant Commissioner Saunders from her appointment. Her experience and knowledge during this time were an invaluable support to me. I personally thank her for her assistance.

Among her many achievements was her work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Through her connected and concerted efforts at engagement, ACT Policing has developed a stronger and better relationship with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. It is clear that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community also appreciated Assistant Commissioner Saunders’s efforts. At the launch of the new patrol boats, Aunty Agnes Shea spoke in a very endearing way of the assistant commissioner and of her commitment and passion, and thanked her for helping forge such a strong relationship with her community.

I am proud to have worked with someone as motivated and skilled as Assistant Commissioner Saunders. I thank her for her wonderful service as the Chief Police Officer of the ACT. The government and, I think, all members of this Assembly, and I of course, thank Assistant Commissioner Saunders and wish her all the very best for the future.

Taxis—government assistance

MISS C BURCH: My question is to the minister for regulatory services regarding the mental health of ACT taxi plate owners. Minister, in your statement of 18 September you said that the ACT government will ensure that personal counselling services are available for those in the on-demand industry who require additional support. Several owners have contacted the service in Woden, only to be told that the service knew nothing of this offer. Minister, how is this possible, and what steps have you taken to ensure that all relevant counselling services are fully equipped to provide this service to affected owners?

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