SIMON KENNEDY: On the second day of the election campaign before we head to the polls on May 21, it’s great to have Minister Andrews here in Bennelong with a very important announcement that I think the 45,000 families of Bennelong are going to be very interested in.
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, thank you very much, Simon. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here with you. As the Liberal candidate for Bennelong, I know that you understand how important it is that we deal with issues such as drugs and crime on our streets. So I’m delighted to be here today to announce $3.5 million in funding that will go to Crimestoppers as part of their Dob-in-a-Dealer campaign. Now, this has been a very successful campaign, and I will invite shortly the Chairman, Vince Hughes, to speak in detail about the program. But this very successful program is one that is front of mind for people as they look at what they can do to keep illicit drugs off the street. Now, the Morrison Government has put considerable resources into combating crime. $1.7 billion in funding to the Australian Federal Police is going a long way to making sure that we are dealing with illicit drugs, from importation through making sure that they don’t get onto the streets, including right here in Bennelong, but all across Australia. The Morrison Government has always been tough on crime, and we have worked very hard to make sure we’re keeping drugs off the street. And, of course, with the considerable funding that we’re giving to our law enforcement agencies, it’s having dramatic effects to reduce the amount of drugs that are here on the street. So the amount of seizures is up considerably under the Morrison Government. And we will continue to make sure that we are doing absolutely everything that we can to keep those drugs off the street. Now, let me invite the Chairman of Crimestoppers, Vince Hughes, to speak in detail about the program.
VINCE HUGHES: Thank you, Minister. And I’d like to welcome you all today and also thank the Minister and the Commonwealth government for the great funding they have given us over the last number of years. But particularly this amount, which has doubled Crimestoppers, has been very successful with its Dob-in-a-Dealer campaign. In fact, over 60 per cent of reports that come to police are drug related. We also know through the research that one in four families are impacted by drugs. It’s devastating. The health system is impacted by it as well. So as a result of this campaign, we will be able to help police to disrupt, unsettle and to harm the main suppliers of drugs. That was the main purpose of our campaign. And we would ask members of the community to report anonymously if they want, you can leave your details, but if you want to report anonymously, that would be respected, and then we would ask you to do that and do it fairly quickly. Thank you very much. Jordan?
JORDAN LANE: Sure. I’m Jordan Lane. I’m the Mayor of Ryde and our boundaries are entirely encapsulated within the Bennelong electorate and I just wanted to say Minister, thank you and to Simon, thank you for your advocacy. This is the sort of program that gives confidence to local communities and local business. We have, as Simon said, about 45,000 families and with one in four impacted, giving confidence to our communities that we’re getting drugs off streets and away from kids and families is an important announcement. Additionally, for our businesses we hear often, despite Ryde being a pretty low crime area, that there is still a concern around what the future looks like. We can say we’re doing something to remove drugs from streets that’s more confidence for business that’s good for our local economy is something I’m very proud to help support the federal government with. So thank you, Minister and Simon for all your work.
ANDREWS: Thank you very much and the Morrison Government will always be tough on crime.