Police Numbers



About this Item
SubjectsPolice: New South Wales; Macquarie Fields; Vandalism; By-elections
SpeakersTink Mr Andrew; Acting-Speaker (Ms Marianne Saliba); Judge Ms Virginia
BusinessDivision, Motion


POLICE NUMBERS
Page: 18194

Debate resumed from 15 September 2005.

Mr ANDREW TINK (Epping) [11.30 a.m.]: This motion is utterly astonishing because it purports to congratulate the Government on something that it should be condemned for. The motion is completely and utterly wrong. It talks about congratulating the Government on continuing with its commitment to record police numbers and to helping to keep the people of New South Wales safer. In fact, there are not record police numbers. There were record police numbers at the time of the 2003 election. Since then police numbers have declined by a figure in the order of 500. Far from record police numbers, police numbers are at least 500 short of where they should be and where they were promised to be at the time of the 2003 election. This is a Government with very serious form in this area. For as long as I can remember—going back to the time when I was shadow Minister for Police—the Government would always ramp up police numbers at election time and then let them run down once the election was over.

Since this matter was last before the Parliament we have had a mini-election of sorts and the Government has been given a huge kick by the electorate, not least for these sort of tactics. We can see it particularly in Macquarie Fields and Liverpool. Each command has 14 fewer police than at the time of the 2003 election. Since the election the number of police in those two commands has dropped by a total of 28. That is not a small number for that community; it is a very significant deficit. Last week the Premier had the hide to skite in this Chamber that police numbers were up in Macquarie Fields and Liverpool: they had been put back up in each case by two. What he did not say was that the numbers were up by two on the number that had been reduced by 14 in each case since the election. So the deficit since the election in those commands in the Macquarie Fields area is still a massive 24 police.

Therefore, it is not surprising that on Saturday the people of Macquarie Fields gave the Government a big kick with an almost 13 per cent swing against it for the sorts of lies and nonsense which the member for Strathfield continues to peddle in this Chamber. She ought to take on board the Macquarie Fields result and acknowledge that the sort of nonsense she goes on with is wearing very thin in the electorate. People are awake to it and they will not tolerate it any longer. If she has not woken up to it she should have a good look in today's Daily Telegraph articles relating to Macquarie Fields and how a couple of people cannot even go into their house. The house has been completely and utterly trashed. They are saying as far as Eucalyptus Drive and some of the other areas are concerned, "We cannot as reasonable law-abiding people continue to live in this area. We cannot carry out our normal lives in this area because our homes are not safe to go into. We cannot go into them."

Ms Virginia Judge: Point of order: The member of the Opposition has breached Standing Order 84, as set out in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly's Standing Rules and Orders, by which he is obliged to refer to members by their titles or by their electorates. He has referred to me as "she". I would like to be referred to as per the standing rules and orders. I ask you to rule on that.

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! I remind the honourable member for Epping that he should to refer to other members by their appropriate titles.

Mr ANDREW TINK: I will refer to the member for Strathfield as the member for Strathfield. I am astonished, given all the other things that have been raised in this debate, that she seems to be obsessed with a point such as that. It suggests to me that she has no interest in the fact that police numbers are going south. She has no interest in the fact that her motion is a nonsense. She has no interest—

Ms Virginia Judge: Point of order—

Mr ANDREW TINK: I am sorry, Madam Acting-Speaker. I withdraw the "shes" and I insert in lieu thereof in each case "the member for Strathfield". I will say again that the member for Strathfield ought to be more concerned about the substantive issues in the motion. It is not a debate about whether it is "she" or "the member for Strathfield"; it is a debate about police numbers. I would have thought that the people of Macquarie Fields and perhaps even the people of Strathfield, for that matter, would be— [Time expired.]

Ms VIRGINIA JUDGE (Strathfield) [11.36 a.m.], in reply: The object of my motion is to congratulate the Government on the police response to community needs in terms of results.

Mr Andrew Tink: Point of order: The honourable member for Bega jumped and ought to be allowed to participate in the debate.

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! When a member seeks the call, he or she must attract my attention so that I know that member wishes to speak. The honourable member for Strathfield attracted my attention and was given the call. Unfortunately, that is the decision I have made.

Mr Andrew Tink: Let me put it on the record then that the member for Strathfield has been so done over in this debate that she will not even—

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Epping will resume his seat.

Mr Andrew Tink: You will not let the honourable member for Bega participate in the debate. You want to close off a debate that has gone south for you.

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Epping will resume his seat. If he does not do so, I will direct that he be removed from the Chamber.

Mr Andrew Tink: You want to close off a debate that has gone pear shaped. That is what you want to do.

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! the honourable member for Epping will resume his seat. If there is another outburst like that he will be removed from this Chamber.

Mr Andrew Constance: Point of order: I rose at the same time as the member for Strathfield, who raised a point of order and then stood up and exercised her right of reply. I find that completely unacceptable. I rose to speak in the debate, an important debate, a debate which is about declining police numbers.

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! There is no point of order. As I said earlier, when members stand and seek the call, they must attract my attention so I can give them the call. Unfortunately, I gave the call to the honourable member for Strathfield.

Mr Andrew Constance: You are running scared. That is denying—

Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Bega will resume his seat.

Mr ANDREW TINK (Epping) [11.38 a.m.]: I move:

That the honourable member for Bega be now heard.

The House divided.
Ayes, 30
Mr Barr
Ms Berejiklian
Mr Cansdell
Mr Constance
Mr Draper
Mrs Fardell
Mr Fraser
Mrs Hancock
Mr Hartcher
Mrs Hopwood
Mr Humpherson
Mr Kerr
Mr Merton
Ms Moore
Mr Oakeshott
Mr O'Farrell
Mr Piccoli
Mr Pringle
Mr Richardson
Mr Roberts
Ms Seaton
Mrs Skinner
Mr Slack-Smith
Mr Souris
Mr Tink
Mr Torbay
Mr J. H. Turner
Mr R. W. Turner


Tellers,
Mr George
Mr Maguire

Noes, 40
Ms Allan
Ms Andrews
Mr Bartlett
Ms Beamer
Mr Black
Mr Brown
Ms Burney
Miss Burton
Mr Corrigan
Mr Crittenden
Ms D'Amore
Ms Gadiel
Mr Gaudry
Mr Greene
Ms Hay
Mr Hickey
Mr Hunter
Ms Judge
Ms Keneally
Mr Lynch
Mr McBride
Mr McLeay
Ms Meagher
Ms Megarrity
Mr Mills
Mr Morris
Mr Newell
Ms Nori
Mrs Paluzzano
Mr Pearce
Mrs Perry
Mr Sartor
Mr Shearan
Mr Stewart
Mr Tripodi
Mr Watkins
Mr West
Mr Whan

Tellers,
Mr Ashton
Mr Martin
Pairs
Mr PriceMr Armstrong
Mr YeadonMs Hodgkinson
    Question resolved in the negative.

    Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Marianne Saliba): Order! The speaking time of the honourable member for Strathfield having expired, the question now is: That the motion be agreed to.

    The House divided.
    Ayes, 41
    Ms Allan
    Ms Andrews
    Mr Bartlett
    Ms Beamer
    Mr Black
    Mr Brown
    Ms Burney
    Miss Burton
    Mr Corrigan
    Mr Crittenden
    Ms D'Amore
    Ms Gadiel
    Mr Gaudry
    Mr Greene
    Ms Hay
    Mr Hickey
    Mr Hunter
    Ms Judge
    Ms Keneally
    Mr Lynch
    Mr McBride
    Mr McLeay
    Ms Meagher
    Ms Megarrity
    Mr Mills
    Ms Moore
    Mr Morris
    Mr Newell
    Ms Nori
    Mrs Paluzzano
    Mr Pearce
    Mrs Perry
    Mr Sartor
    Mr Shearan
    Mr Stewart
    Mr Tripodi
    Mr Watkins
    Mr West
    Mr Whan
    Tellers,
    Mr Ashton
    Mr Martin

    Noes, 29
    Mr Barr
    Mr Cansdell
    Mr Constance
    Mr Debnam
    Mr Draper
    Mrs Fardell
    Mr Fraser
    Mrs Hancock
    Mr Hartcher
    Mrs Hopwood
    Mr Humpherson
    Mr Merton
    Mr Oakeshott
    Mr O'Farrell
    Mr Piccoli
    Mr Pringle
    Mr Richardson
    Mr Roberts
    Ms Seaton
    Mrs Skinner
    Mr Slack-Smith
    Mr Souris
    Mr Stoner
    Mr Tink
    Mr Torbay
    Mr J. H. Turner
    Mr R. W. Turner
    Tellers,
    Mr George
    Mr Maguire

    Pairs

    Mr PriceMr Armstrong
    Mr YeadonMs Hodgkinson
    Question resolved in the affirmative.

    Motion agreed to.