Police Numbers

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SpeakersSpeaker; O'Farrell Mr Barry; Iemma Mr Morris
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 4744

Mr BARRY O'FARRELL: My question is directed to the Premier. How is it possible that, despite all his promises about increasing police numbers, the number of Highway Patrol police is now at a lower level than when he became Premier and even lower than it was in 1984, as revealed by a leaked document?

The SPEAKER: Order! Members on the Government benches will remain silent. Opposition members will also remain silent. The Premier has the call.

Mr Chris Hartcher: There is the document.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: That is right, there is the document. How many times have Opposition members wheeled in leaked memos and faxes? The master is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. How many of them turned out to be accurate? None.

The SPEAKER: Order! Members of the Opposition will stop answering the question.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: Not on last year's budget at Royal North Shore Hospital, not on this year's expenditure at Royal North Shore Hospital, not on bed numbers and not on nursing recruitment. Today the Leader of the Opposition brings in his leaked police document. Police numbers? What is the authorised strength at the moment? It is about 15,200 with 750 new police over the next four years, including extra Highway Patrol officers. We have a new Commissioner of Police, tougher police powers and new police equipment so they can continue to do the job they have been doing.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Murrumbidgee will cease interjecting.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: What a great job they have been doing, and without any support from that lot over there. The Leader of the Opposition asks a question about police Highway Patrol numbers from another one of his leaked memos, his leaked documents. He might care to tell us: had they won the election where did they think those 20,000 public service workers would have come from? The police department!

The SPEAKER: Order! Members will stop calling out. I call the Leader of The Nationals to order. I call the member for Coffs Harbour to order.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: What would that have done to police numbers? What would that have done to police morale? What would the removal of 20,000 police workers have done to law enforcement in New South Wales? We have 750 new police on the way.

Mr Barry O'Farrell: Point of order. My point of order is under Standing Order 129. I appreciate the Premier's comments about broader police numbers. The question was about the number of Highway Patrol police currently being fewer than in 1984. The police leaked the memo because they want more resources, Morris. They want your support.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Premier has the call.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: We have taken delivery of the new Highway Patrol cars; they are mobile police stations. What was it the police said about those Highway Patrol cars? We have the most advanced technology in the world in our Highway Patrol cars. They will give the latest technology to the 50 extra police who are coming in as part of the 750. We now have the biggest Police Force in the history of New South Wales and under this Government it will get bigger.

The SPEAKER: Order! I ask members of the Opposition to remain silent.