Thursday, 18 June 2020
Before moving notice of motion No. 704, I would like to inform the Senate that I add Senators Scarr, Rennick, Askew, McDonald and Antic as co-sponsors of this motion. I, and also on behalf of Senators Davey, Molan, Dean Smith, Scarr, Rennick, Askew, McDonald and Antic, move:
That the Senate—
(a) recognises the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of the over 80,000 state and federal police officers in Australia;
(b) notes that, in 2018-19, over 9,000 police officers were injured in the line of duty throughout Australia, more than one officer every hour;
(c) further notes that the 2018 'Answering the call' national survey, found that over 24 per cent of police officers reported that they are sometimes or often physically assaulted when undertaking work duties; and
(d) condemns those calling for the defunding of our essential police forces, including the views expressed by NSW Greens Legislative Councillor Mr David Shoebridge, who has stated that "That's what #defundthepolice could look like here in NSW".
The call to defund the police is actually a call for increased funding into social supports—things like housing, things like education, things like childcare, things that are genuine public goods. For those members, particularly senators from Tasmania, I urge you to read the comments of Deputy Commissioner of Tasmania Police Mr Scott Tilyard, reported in the Examiner earlier this week, where he said it is absolutely 'worth considering' defunding the police as long as those funds are reinvested into areas of public services which I just mentioned. So it is important that people understand the context, and this is about justice reinvestment.
Senator Canavan, are you happy with that? Yes. Could I ask those senators who wish to add their names to the motion to please stand, and I will seek leave of the Senate. I see Senators Duniam, Ruston, Cormann, McKenzie, Reynolds, Lambie, Hume, Seselja, McGrath, Chandler, O'Sullivan, Patrick, Colbeck—you'd like me to add Senator Griff? I'll take it—McLachlan, Fierravanti-Wells, Henderson, Van, Hughes, Paterson, Brockman; I believe that's everyone. Do I have the leave of the Senate and the mover of the motion?
The question is that motion No. 704, in the name of Senator Canavan and others, be agreed to.