Goulburn Electorate Crime Statistics - Private Members Statement

Ms PRU GOWARD (Goulburn—Minister for Planning, and Minister for Women) [7.06 p.m.]: There is much to be said for living in regional New South Wales. The sense of community, the beautiful landscapes, the fresh clean air, the friendships and the affordable housing are usually given as strong reasons. Being able to live in safety, peacefully and without fear is undoubtedly another powerful factor driving people, including the elderly and young families, to our rural communities. I will therefore take this opportunity to talk about impressive downward trends in crime within the Goulburn electorate as well as highlight the groups and individuals who have contributed to it.

Like my neighbours and friends, I have always felt safe within my own town—especially compared with the risks of living in Sydney. The latest crime statistics released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that the rates of many significant crimes are trending downwards to the lowest levels in more than 20 years. Within the Goulburn electorate the Goulburn and Wingecarribee local government areas, which are the major local government areas, experienced significant downturns in major crimes. That is a reflection of the Government's commitment to increasing police resources and strengthening powers.

The Goulburn Mulwaree local government area has experienced a drop of nearly 40 per cent in both motor vehicle theft and stealing from a dwelling. Break and enter rates fell by more than 30 per cent and malicious damage to property decreased by 26.4 per cent. Wingecarribee Shire has had a decrease of nearly 40 per cent in motor vehicle theft, with break and enter non-dwelling also falling by a third. Goulburn is a very diverse electorate. Despite having some low socioeconomic areas, which are often associated with higher rates of crime, the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report testifies that Goulburn is a
very safe community. That is because the New South Wales Government has delivered record police numbers and increased powers and resources for the police to combat crime.

Just last week 182 students from class 321 graduated as probationary constables with an Associate Degree in Policing Practice from Goulburn's police academy. I thank the NSW Police Force, in particular our local police and Local Area Commander Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan and his officers, for their hard work and diligence in lowering crime levels in our community. They are ably led by Gary Worboys, the regional commander and former Goulburn chief, who has made sure that police activities are intelligence-driven. That has most certainly paid off.

I also make mention of and give thanks to the local liquor accords, which develop strategies to improve safety and security, reduce alcohol-and drug-related harm and generally improve the amenity of the region. Both the Goulburn and Southern Highlands liquor accords have reduced adverse alcohol- and drug-related public impacts and have generally sought to minimise the social harm associated with excessive alcohol use in clubs and pubs and even from takeaway outlets.

For their contribution to the liquor accord and to their local community, I wish to thank, from the Goulburn liquor accord, Robert Kennedy, Melanie Wells, Christine Freebody, Anthony Hogan, Sean Griffiths, Timothy Quill, Andrea Darcey, Sueann Rowson, Heather Thomson, Tanya Saville, Tim Roberts, Phil Anderson, Chad Gillies, Tanya Croker, Rob Sullivan, Adam Mortimer, Mark Ryan, Helen Ford, Robyn Condylios, Anna McCormack, Elly Spark, Patrick Burke, Scott Cooper and Phyllis Croker.

From the Southern Highlands liquor accord, I wish to thank Melanie Lausz, Frank Perger, Lucy Brotherton, Angela Anastassiadis, Alison Hilliard, Lois Green, Kylie Pritchard, Ed Woolfrey, Sue Nicholl, Ryan Dickson, Donna Young, John Green, Jolene Templer, Naomi Wheeler, Adrian Guest, Adam Purcell, Peter Dean, Moyra Lewis, Angela Daly, Chris Backhouse, Haylen Court, Andrew Raunjak, Michelle Muscat, Trent Johns, Peter Boyce, Anthony McLean, Phil Anderson, Phillip Hill, Meredith Mills, Charles Tufu, Malahai Konisch, Tracee Magrath, Gillian Smith, Vas Khandeko, Jason Harwood, Tony Springett, Will Mathews and Barb Balon.Their input is having a positive impact on the crime rate and the safety
of our community—something of which we are all very appreciative.

The launch of Project Eyewatch in the Goulburn and Southern Highlands regions also has been likened to a modern form of the Neighbourhood Watch program and allows police and the community to exchange information about local crime and issues by using Facebook. People do not always have the time to attend community meetings with the police, but through local Eyewatch programs they can simply go online and share information. This is another great initiative to keep our communities as involved and as safe as is possible.

Mr DAVID ELLIOTT (Baulkham Hills—Parliamentary Secretary) [7.11 p.m.]: I commend the member for Goulburn, Minister for Planning and Minister for Women on what is clearly a superior understanding of her constituency. It is very easy for members who represent city electorates to be totally preoccupied with what happens in the 10 or 20 square kilometres of our own electorates without giving proper credit to the fact that some members of this House have electorates that are the size of European principalities. The Minister's electorate of Goulburn is one such electorate. Her electorate quite easily could be considered a medium power in Western Europe. When I hear her complete and utter understanding of the brief of representing the Goulburn electorate, I am perpetually impressed by the quality of the member for Goulburn and the quality of the Minister she has become in the Baird Government.

Pru Goward

Member for Goulburn

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Authorised by Pru Goward, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000