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Tuesday, 18 November 1986
Page: 2393


Senator WALTERS(4.07) —I agree entirely with the Minister but we are not debating tax now. We are debating social security. The Minister says that he would act in any way possible to remedy the situation. That is why I draw to his attention the great disparity between the number of cases in the Australian Capital Territory and the number of cases in my home State. The population in the Australian Capital Territory is, I suppose, almost half the population of my State. Yet there are 97 defendants in the Australian Capital Territory versus three in Tasmania. There are 53 pleas of guilty in the Australian Capital Territory versus one in Tasmania. There are 40 trials in the Australian Capital Territory versus two in Tasmania. The number of defendants in the Australian Capital Territory-this is the outcome of trials-is 44 versus two in Tasmania. The number of convictions in the Australian Capital Territory is 23 versus one in Tasmania. The number of acquittals is 14 in the Australian Capital Territory versus one in Tasmania. As far as other cases are concerned, there are seven in the Australian Capital Territory versus none in Tasmania.

We can draw two conclusions from that. I would like to draw the first conclusion, which is that Tasmanians are far more honest than most people in the Australian Capital Territory. But I do not draw that conclusion. I draw the conclusion that possibly greater resources are given to the Australian Capital Territory in this area than are given in my home State. I am interested to hear the Minister's comment on this matter because if this is the case no table could underline the need for a remedy greater than the figures I have cited.