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A better plan for law and order.



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A Better Plan For Law and Order

  • A Better Plan for Law and Order
  • The GST-An Attack on our Security
  • Labor's Initiatives
  • National Drug Enforcement Coordination Unit
  • Australian Federal Police
  • National C rime Authority
  • Review of the Australian Customs Service
  • Drug courts
  • Dealing with drugs
  • Reducing Waiting Times For Treatment
  • Drug Education Campaigns
  • National Campaign Against Violence and Crime
  • Victims of crime
  • Criminal law reform
  • Uniform National K nife Laws
  • Uniform National Domestic Violence Laws
  • Reducing violence and crime
  • Better Parenting Programs
  • Access And Handover Centres
  • Violence in the media
  • Uniform national gun laws
  • Costing

A Better Plan for Law and Order

Australians are feeling increas ingly unsafe in their homes, in their places of work and on their streets.

 

This is vastly different from the `comfortable and relaxed' Australia that John Howard promised us.

 

Rather than provide greater security for all Australians, John Howard has cut spending on law enforcement and other programs designed to control and reduce the level of violence within our society.

 

In the 6 years that the Howard Government has budgeted for, it will spend $270 million less on the Australian Federal Police, the National Crime Authority, AUSTRAC, the Commonwealth DPP and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence than if Labor's 1995-96 funding levels had been maintained.

 

The AFP alone will have $159.5 million less spent on it.

But these figures could have been worse. If John Howard hadn't responded to pressure from the Labor Party then he would have spent $417.2 million less in real terms on Commonwealth law enforcement. The Prime Minister's Tough on Drugs strategy has only put back some of the money that John Howard cut in his 1996 and 1997 Budgets.

 

Even now he is not giving the AFP the $65 million he promised them.

 

Even now John Howard is refusing to release the Ayers Report into the AFP. Until this report is released, Australians are right to doubt whether the AFP is getting the resources it needs to get the job done.

 

John Howard said he would increase criminal penalties for drug offences, child pornographers and those defrauding the Commonwealth-he hasn't.

 

Australians want a Prime Minister who will keep his word, especially when it comes to keeping us all safe from crime.

The GST-An Attack on our Security

The GST will make it more expensive for Australians to protect themselves against crime.

John Howard's GST will increase the cost of home insuranc e significantly. This is only likely to make it harder for Australians to protect themselves against the risk of having their valuables stolen or lost in the case of a fire or a flood.

Labor's Initiatives

Rebuilding a sense of security in Australia is goi ng to take more than just spending more on law enforcement or increasing penalties for criminals.

 

To make Australia a safer place, Labor will be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

Labor will also take a measured and comprehensive approach to the problems caused by violence and crime.

 

Labor's comprehensive approach to crime and security will enable us all to create a safer Australia.

National Drug Enforcement Coordination Unit

Labor will establish a unit in the Department of Prime Ministe r and Cabinet, under the direction of the Prime Minister, to bring all of Australia's law enforcement and defence resources to bear on the international drug trade.

 

This unit will coordinate the efforts of all our Commonwealth, State and Territory law enforcement agencies and, for the first time, will actively involve the Australian Defence Force in the war against drugs and organised crime.

 

The unit will be funded out of existing resources of the Department of the Prime Minister

Cabinet and the Attorney-General's Department. It will be answerable to the Prime Minister. This will ensure that the war against drugs will get the priority it deserves. The unit will also help coordinate Australia's anti-drug efforts with foreign and international agencies.

 

Hansard

South Australian Police Commissioner, Mr Hyde:

 

"We are very concerned about the reduction in resources to some federal agencies, particularly in the area of drugs, in allowing us to combat the drug problem in this State.  We have experienced increased costs in some of the joint operations that we have conducted: we have had to provide more money to make those operations successful.  We cannot put all of our resources into shoring up the Commonwealth's withdrawl of resources from those Federal agencies."

 

South Australian Parliament, 18 June 1998.

 

 

Australian Federal Police

Labor will provide sufficient funding to ensure the Australian Federal Police has the resources it needs to get the job done.

 

Labor will do more than match the additional $65 million in funding recently announced by the Government . Labor will provide $75.7 million, extending the extra funding into the 2001-02 financial year. But unlike the Government, Labor will actually give this money directly to the AFP-not tie it up in a bureaucratic committee.

 

Labor will also provide an additional $29.9 million to the Australian Federal Police. This funding will provide for:

 

  • Australia's first national child protection unit;
  • re-establishing an effective operational presence in South Australia;
  • increase the operational budgets of the AFP's regions to ensure that federal agents are no longer paid to work business hours;
  • increase the resources of the AFP's operational regions to meet emerging crime trends; and
  • ensure the AFP is available for use by the ACT for its community policing services .

 

The national child protection unit will give the AFP its first permanent capacity to deal with national and international paedophile rings. It will also provide the AFP with an ability to investigate international child abduction cases.

 

Re-establishi ng the AFP's operational management for Southern Region in Adelaide will ensure that the AFP understands the law enforcement needs of South Australians. Approximately 30 officers will be re-located increasing the AFP's presence in South Australia to about 90.

Labor will increase the amount of money the AFP has to spend on out of hours operations. After all, we all know that criminals do not keep business hours. This policy will also recognise the hard work done by the dedicated officers of the AFP who receive little incentive to work any more than 9 to 5.

 

Labor will also give the AFP additional funding for resources to meet emerging crime trends. This funding will be available to allow the AFP to purchase additional capital equipment such as new semi-automatic handguns, new bullet proof vests and update its information technology capabilities.

Labor will also ensure that the AFP's resources are better allocated to ensure greater national consistency in the priority given to investigations and that greater priority is given to the investigation of computer related crime, environmental crime and intellectual property offences.

 

Finally, Labor will continue to allow the ACT to purchase its community policing services from the AFP. Without a GST, the ACT will be able to continue to afford the policing services that the people of Canberra deserve.

 

AFP Commissioner, Mr Mick Palmer

 

"With reducing budgets and fewer people . . . the number of tasks the AFP must place 'on hold' or reject because of lack of resour ces will increase. There is also an increasing opportunity cost to the AFP's clients and stakeholders, and ultimately Australia, of the amount of crime falling within the AFP's jurisdiction that will be allowed to continue unimpeded, and remain uninvestigated and undiscovered."

 

1996-97 Annual Report

 

National Crime Authority

Labor will provide sufficient funding to ensure the National Crime Authority has the resources it needs to get the job done.

 

Labor will provide an extra $14 million in funding in 200 0-01 and 2001-02 to:

 

  • continue the Fraud Against the Commonwealth program into the 2002-03 financial year;
  • restore the effective presences of the NCA in both South Australia and Western Australia allowing better investigation of the heroin and amphetamin e trades; and
  • increase the capacity of the NCA both nationally and internationally to target the heroin and amphetamine trades.

 

In the 1996 Budget, John Howard cut funding to the National Crime Authority slashing the staff of the NCA in South Australia from 33 to only 13 and in Western Australia from 31 to only 16.

 

The NCA's operations in the rest of Australia have not fared much better.

 

Despite having given the NCA additional funding for the Fraud Against the Commonwealth program, the NCA will receive $48.1m less in real terms over the 6 years budgeted by John Howard than if Labor's 1995-96 funding levels had been maintained. This has meant that the NCA is spending less of its time tackling drug runners and organised crime and more time protecting the Commonwealth's revenue.

Labor's additional funding will allow the Fraud Against the Commonwealth program to continue into the 2002-03 financial year. This will see an additional $30 million a year collected in increased taxation revenue and $10 million a year seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Review of the Australian Customs Service

Labor will examine the relationship between the Australian Customs Service with other law enforcement agencies.

John Howard cut $79 million from the Australian Customs Service in 19 96. Whilst he has put some of that funding back, the lack of certainty in Custom's funding arrangements has hampered the long term planning of the Service.

 

The Australian community is entitled to know whether the Australian Customs Service has the resources it needs to get the job done. Accordingly, Labor will conduct a comprehensive review of the Customs services and the effectiveness of its relationship with Australia's other law enforcement agencies.

 

The review of Customs will also encompass the resources available to the service for drug interception.

 

The relationship between Customs and the business community in the collection of excise will also be examined. Labor will consult with Australia's businesses to ensure that this relationship is as efficient and effective as possible-helping them to get on with the job.

 

Labor recognises that intellectual property is a key growth market into the 21st Century. Accordingly, our policies will be directed to ensuring the best outcomes for Australia in terms of jobs and investment.

 

Accordingly, Labor's review of the Australian Customs Service will examine the resources needed to help business protect its legitimate property interests.

Drug courts

Labor will provide $7.5 million in seed funding for the tri al of 3 Drug Courts in New South Wales-$2.5 million for each Drug Court. Labor will also work with all States and Territories to establish guidelines for the provision of seed funding for future trials in all jurisdictions.

 

Drug Courts use existing court resources to manage less serious drug offenders and persons convicted of drug-related crimes.

 

Offenders participating in Drug Courts are directed to treatment by the judge. The judge uses court sanctions and regular contact with the offender to enforce strict compliance with treatment regimes including random urine tests, regular Drug Court attendances and treatment progress reports.

 

In implementing the Drug Courts program, Labor will also examine ways that it can interact with our jobs and skills programs. By providing addicts with appropriate training and job opportunities, we will help drug addicts to get back on their feet, be free from drugs and become fully productive members of the community.

 

The initial trials of the program will be conducted in New South Wales, which has already shown leadership in the development of Drug Courts in Australia. Labor will also consult with the States and Territories on the development of guidelines for the establishment of Drug Courts in all jurisdictions.

Dealing with drugs

Labor will introduce a comprehensive package of measures aimed to address the growing problem of illicit drugs. This will:

  • provide additional funding for rehabilitation programs and out-placement services; and
  • provide for education campaig ns about the damaging effects of drugs.

Reducing Waiting Times For Treatment

A Labor Government will provide an additional $30 million over three years to fund successful drug treatment and rehabilitation programs to reduce waiting times to help those addicted to illicit drugs to get clean and s tay clean.

 

Some of this additional money will be used to develop out-placement services to assist former addicts who have completed treatment and/or rehabilitation programs to return to the community without returning to drug use.

Drug Education Campaigns

A Labor Government will provide $9 million over three years to fund information and education campaigns about the damaging effects of drugs.

 

The campaigns will target illicit drugs, steroids, tobacco and alcohol all of which are becoming an increasing problem in Australia.

 

Labor's education campaigns will draw upon the proven experience of educating Australians about the harmful effect of drug abuse and encouraging them not to take up drugs in the first place.

National Campaign Against Violence and Crime

Labor will continue to fund the National Campaign Against Violence and Crime. This program is only currently funded until the end of the 1998-99 financial year.

 

To ensure that ordinary Australians have a direct input into how this program works, La bor will establish a community advisory board to advise Government on how the funding should be spent.

Victims of crime

Labor will work with the States and Territories to develop a national uniform scheme for the victims of crime. The scheme will include:

 

  • a charter for the rights of the victims of crime;
  • laws governing the compensation of victims of crime;
  • the development of standards for the provision of support, counselling and rehabilitation services for the victims of crime; and
  • laws providing for victim impact statements.

 

In developing these laws, Labor will aim to minimise the trauma to victims of crime, and in particular the victims of sexual and family violence and abuse, during both the investigation of the crime and its prosecution.

Criminal law reform

Labor will work with the States and Territories to continue to develop and implement Australia's Model Criminal Code. Labor will also work with the States and Territories to introduce uniform national knife laws and uniform national domestic violence laws.

Uniform National Knife Laws

The Labor New South Wales Government recently introduced tough new knife laws designed to make our streets safer.

 

Labor will seek to have laws similar to these implemented nationally and will examine the Custom s regulations to ensure that knives not used for genuine domestic, recreational or commercial purposes cannot be imported into Australia.

Uniform National Domestic Violence Laws

Labor believes that domestic violence is a crime that should be stopped. Acco rdingly, Labor will work with the States and Territories to develop and implement uniform national domestic violence laws.

 

In doing so, Labor will draw upon the Discussion paper on the Model Domestic Violence Laws issued by the Domestic Violence Legislation Working Group.

Reducing violence and crime

Labor will conduct research into the evaluation of parenting programs with a view to developing a comprehensive approach to them.

 

Labor will also provide $4.6 million to fund up to 10 new Access and Handove r Centres.

Better Parenting Programs

Labor will help Australians to become better parents and reduce family violence through research into parenting programs. This research will provide the basis for the funding of future programs.

 

Labor will provide $2 million in 2000-01 for this purpose.

 

This program is described in full in Labor's Justice Policy.

Access And Handover Centres

These centres reduce violence by providing a safer means for access to children in family law matters. This program is describ ed in full in Labor's Justice Policy.

Violence in the media

Labor will conduct a public inquiry into the portrayal violence in the media.

 

Labor believes that adults should be entitled to read, hear and see what they wish in private and in public, subjec t to adequate protection against persons being exposed to unsolicited material offensive to them and preventing conduct exploiting, or detrimental to the rights of others, particularly women and children.

 

However, Labor is concerned about the portrayal of violence on television and in films, videos, the internet and video games.

 

Labor will work with the States and Territories to ensure that appropriate controls are in place to protect all Australians and will conduct research into the impact of the portrayal of violence in our society.

Following Port Arthur, the Howard Government promised a review of the portrayal of violence in the media. That review has not occurred.

Uniform national gun laws

The only lasting achievement of John Howard's Prime Ministership is the implementation of Australia's national uniform gun laws. But unlike John Howard, Labor advocated these changes prior to the last election.

 

But now he has gone soft on the conservative governments in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. He has failed to ensure that they have implemented the Port Arthur uniform national gun laws in full.

 

Labor will require the States and Territories to implement the uniform national gun laws in full. Labor will also try to achieve greater consistency between the various State and Territory regimes. Labor will only support the amendment of the uniform national gun laws if it is done by unanimous agreement of the Commonwealth, the States and the Territories.

Labor will ensure that everything reasonable will be done to prevent a tragedy like Port Arthur from ever happening again.

Costing

 

98-99

99-00

00-01

01-02

Total

National Drug Enforcement Coordination Unit

0

0

0

0

0

Aus tralian Federal Police

10.0

28.3

28.3

28.3

94.9

National Crime Authority

0

0

7.0

7.0

14.0

Fraud against the Commonwealth Program

0

0

-40.0

-40.0

-80.0

Australian Customs Service

0

0

0

0

0

Drug Courts

0

2.5

5.0

0

7.5

Dealing with drugs

0

13.0

13.0

13.0

39.0

National Campaign Against Violence and Crime

0

3.4

3.4

3.4

10.2

Victims of crime

0

0

0

0

0

Criminal law reform

0

0

0

0

0

Better parenting programs*

0

0

2.0

0

2.0

Access and Handover Centres*

0

1.2

1.2

1.2

3.6

Violence in the media

0

0

0

0

0

Un iform national gun laws

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

10.0

47.2

16.7

11.7

85.6

Commitments in italics are accounted for elsewhere: 
* These measures are in the Justice Policy

 

Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600