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Wednesday, 22 March 1972
Page: 780

Senator JESSOP - Has the AttorneyGeneral received a letter from the Australian Federation of Police Associations and Unions? Is the Attorney-General aware of the motion which was passed 'by the Federal Council of that organisation during the latter part of last year which reads:

That this conference expresses alarm at the growing tendency of certain sections of the community who resort to actions of organised violence and lawlessness at demonstrations in the streets and other places throughout Australia and that this motion be brought to the attention of all members of Parliament throughout Australia.

Is the Minister also aware that the Police Department of South Australia has experienced difficulty in maintaining its cadet training programme, and that recruiting difficulties persist in spite of the efforts of the various police associations to improve wages and conditions of members of the police force? Will the Attorney-General give sympathetic consideration to the requests, which I believe are reasonable, for assistance to overcome the difficulties particularly by making direct and substantial grants to the States for the improvement and maintenance of efficient police forces in Australia?

Senator GREENWOOD - I am aware of the motion which was passed by the Federation of Police Associations. I have received a letter from that body. From the text of the letter I assume that all members of Parliament have received copies of it. 1 assure the honourable senator and the Senate that I share with the Federation the alarm which it has expressed in its resolution. I certainly feel that it is the obligation of all persons to assist the police wherever they can. That is why I have made efforts to assert the need for members of Parliament, particularly, to indicate the advantage and the virtue of maintaining the rule of law and assisting those who have a job to do in enforcing the. law. I shall certainly give sympathetic consideration to the Federation's letter. I have acknowledged it and given an assurance that I shall write again because I think that one must make every effort to ensure that the concern which it has expressed is spread as widely as is possible. Whether the problems with which it is concerned are to be met simply by the provision of financial assistance is not a matter upon which I can give any final answer, I believe that the important thing is to assure the police forces that they have the support of the community and, above all, that the leaders of the community - that is, members of Parliament and others - indicate to the police forces their support of them.

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