Crime prevention: government performance
I wish to raise an issue for the attention of the Premier — the new Premier, I guess, in this case. It relates to the increase in crime across my electorate as identified in the latest crime statistics. I ask that the Premier take real, balanced action to assist in bringing down this alarming increase. As we have seen in the recently released crime statistics for the year 2012, the figures show quite a significant increase in crime in areas of great concern to me, particularly crimes against the person, which I imagine are a significant area of concern to people across my electorate. In Ballarat, for example, assaults were up by a little over 22 per cent in the year 2012 relative to the year 2011, while in the Moorabool shire, which also falls partly within my electorate, assaults were up by a staggering 40 per cent.
The significant concern, too, amongst those figures was that family violence significantly increased, with a figure of 28 per cent representing the increase in Ballarat and a staggering 77.5 per cent increase in the family violence crime reported in the Moorabool shire.
I am not one to be alarmist. I try to persuade my constituents that they should be able to feel safe wherever they go within the electorate. These figures, however, must act as a wake-up call to this government. They show that it is just not good enough to talk tough on crime and that you have to act in a range of ways to address crime both head-on and, as importantly, also work to address the underlying causes of crime. Clearly the action this government has taken to date has not been successful. We clearly need significant action to take place to bring about a change.
As a former teacher, I know that it is important to work to engage all students. As those students move through the secondary education system it is also vitally important that all students are supported on a pathway to a future. Making cuts to valuable programs, including Reading Recovery, the Victorian certificate of applied learning and so on, will only see more students falling out of the system. Likewise, cuts to TAFE are going to further add — and have further added — to the reduction in opportunities for young people who may not be suited to a mainstream academic education.
Employment is clearly an important issue, as everyone who has a job can feel they have opportunities ahead of them to earn an income for their families — to contribute for their families — or to feel valued in what they are doing.
Alternatively, unemployment leads to greater frustration, and clearly — —
The SPEAKER — Order! The member’s time has expired.