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Mrs ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Madam President, I would like to comment about Tasmania Police. They have a very difficult job to do in an ever-changing environment. It is really important that they have made some changes in respect of policing and the courts. I will read something very briefly that the commissioner put out in November 2012:

The new arrangement will bring the Launceston Magistrates Court in line with courts in Hobart. Police will continue to perform guard and transport duties in the Launceston Supreme Court and all North West courts, as well as out of hours appearances at the Launceston Magistrates Court.

Removing Police from all courts was a bi-partisan election promise.

Mr Tilyard said the new deal would free up police for operational duties.

'This change allows police in the Northern District to return to their core function, which is frontline policing', he said.

And I remember the member for Windermere hoping they would be freed up to use in the northern area. He went on to say:

'Up to eight Launceston police officers spend part of their day on court duties so this is a significant boost in terms of our resourcing and flexibility in rostering'.

'The long-term benefits for frontline policing in the Northern District far outweigh the costs of the funding agreement', he said.

It was really good to read that the police coming out of the courts are going to be put back into Launceston. It was great to see that the promise was kept. I just want to reiterate the comments we have heard today about policing and how difficult it is. Sometimes, I would love to be an honorary police officer when driving down to Hobart.

Ms Rattray - Following the former member for Launceston's footsteps.

Mrs ARMITAGE - I said it would be nice to be an honorary police officer. I would not like to do it illegally, but many times people fly past you like you are standing still when you are doing the speed limit and you think, 'This is really bad'. But, I really want to acknowledge Tasmania Police and the great job they do in our community - it cannot be an easy job. All too often we are ready to blast the police for all sorts of things, but they do a fabulous job.

I commend the member for Windermere for bringing this forward every year, so we can at least acknowledge the work they do. Without the police, we would be in a very sad situation. I hope they can keep the numbers up, particularly with the budget cuts they have before them every year. It is never going to be easy but the commissioner, and everyone within the police force, does a fabulous job and I commended them for it.


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