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Answers to Questions

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 15:12 :44 ): My questions are to the Minister for Police:

  1. Can the minister advise whether, as new minister, he has been briefed by his departments on the time frames and procedures in dealing with questions taken on notice by the minister in parliament?

  2. Is the minister satisfied with these procedures and response times?

  3. In general terms, how long can honourable members expect to wait to receive answers to questions from the minister?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 15:13 :14 ): I thank the honourable member for his question. The simple commitment that I can make is to get answers back to honourable members, whether I take them on notice or more informally, as quickly as possible.

In answer to your specific question, I haven't received a briefing from SAPOL in terms of the brevity in which they will get to me specific questions on notice, but what I will say is this: in speaking with SAPOL about the exchange of information between my office and theirs, they quite rightly have made it very clear that the number one priority for them is accuracy of information, and that is a policy that I wholeheartedly endorse. The last thing I want to do, or this government wants to do, is find ourselves passing on sensitive information either to members of the public or honourable members of this chamber that isn't 100 per cent accurate.

When left with the choice between accuracy and speed, I think it's absolutely appropriate that SAPOL prioritise accuracy. Nevertheless, I will be seeking assurances from them that we do provide answers back to honourable members and, indeed, whether that be formally or informally, as quickly as possible. Policing, and our community safety, is not a partisan issue but something to which I think everyone in this chamber is wholeheartedly committed. When honourable members ask questions that have at their heart concerns about providing community safety, then I will be all too keen to make sure we provide that information to them as speedily as possible.