March 6, 2013  |  Adjournment

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.