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Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Page: 774

Mr ROBERT (4:16 PM) —by leave—I stand here this afternoon to support the National Community Crime Prevention Program. I firmly believe that everyone has a right to feel safe in their local communities. That is what the former crime prevention program was doing and that is why crime prevention is such an important component of building up healthy, sustainable and, indeed, safe communities. The former National Community Crime Prevention Program delivered a range of outstanding initiatives for the seat of Fadden—initiatives including closed-circuit TV cameras, equipment to engrave vital and sensitive possessions of families, a whole range of other devices, security containers and safes. Indeed, the program was a mainstay of the Neighbourhood Watch program that runs throughout Fadden, and I publicly salute the work that the hardworking citizens of Fadden do in the Neighbourhood Watch program.

However, I am concerned that clearly this is not important to the Rudd government. They apparently do not seem to think that crime is a problem. There is little, if any, mention of crime in any significant policy statements on the ALP website. There has been no mention of crime in any major policy statements since November 2006 and, indeed, the National Community Crime Prevention Program that has delivered such outstanding benefits to the electorate of Fadden has been unceremoniously tossed on the scrap heap with no word from the Prime Minister or the responsible minister and no word to the hardworking Neighbourhood Watch within the electorate of Fadden—in fact, no word at all. There has been no media release, no speech, nothing on their websites or on the ALP website. Are they ashamed of failing to renew this program that provided such vital support to community organisations like Neighbourhood Watch in Fadden? Are they ashamed to be preventing crime? They should be.

What makes this situation so parlous in the extreme is that I became aware of the Rudd Labor government’s failure only when I signed up for the email bulletin regarding this program and I was met with the message, ‘It is not envisaged that further funding will be provided under this program.’ It is an absolute insult to the hardworking men and women that form Neighbourhood Watch in Fadden that they have not been told that such fundamental access for funds is now being denied them, but they will find out when they register for email bulletins that it is not envisaged that further funding will be provided under this program. I intend to fight for programs such as this so that the hardworking men and women and families of Fadden can feel safe and secure in their homes, knowing that a government does indeed care about them.