The Premier, Lara Giddings, today condemned the scaremongering campaign being run by the Tasmanian Police Association in the lead-up to the Upper House elections.
Ms Giddings said the Association’s claim that 200 police officers would be sacked was not based in fact, just leaked information from her office.
“It is one thing to speculate about the possible impact of the Budget process, it is quite another to run a blatant public scare campaign that is based wholly on a rumour of the Police Association’s own making,” Ms Giddings whined.
``I remind the Police Association that my Government has a whole department dedicated to running blatant scare campaigns, and the Police Association should mind it’s own business.’‘
“I understand the Police Association’s concern for their members but this is a questionable use of members’ money on an issue that has no substance. Questionable use of money is the role of Government, particularly my Department and some of the GBEs.’‘
Ms Giddings said she had made no secret of the fact that savings would have to be found across all Government department, except hers.
She urged the Police Association to formally engage with the Government to discuss their concerns and constructively take part in the Budget process.
“The fact is, the best thing we can do to prevent crime and keep Tasmanian communities safe is to keep people in jobs. Research shows that people who are employed are far less likely to commit crime in Tasmania, particularly when they leave the State to find work work elsewhere.’‘
“Unfortunately, unless we face up to the Budget challenge, we will see a return to the dark economic days of the 1990s when unemployment was in double figures and crime rates were far higher than they are today. We’ve already identified some savings, such as replacing 200 front-line police with cardboard cut-outs, and transitioning the Police fleet from Ford Falcons to more fuel-efficient vehicles such as 1988 Daewoos.’‘
“We are committed to ensuring that Tasmania remains the safest state in the country. To that end, we will be trialling a new system whereby offenders can dob themselves in, and benefit from a 10% reduction in their sentences,’’ Ms Giddings concluded.