Press Conference – Adelaide





19 AUGUST 2013



Subjects: Crime Prevention Projects for South Australia; Polling


JASON CLARE: Well, I’m here with Kate Ellis, the Member for Adelaide, and Michael Llewellyn-Smith, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide, to make a great announcement for the city. Today, I’m announcing more than $2 million in crime prevention projects for Adelaide and South Australia and the biggest of those is almost half a million dollars for closed circuit television cameras and extra lighting between here and the Adelaide Oval and the entertainment precinct in the heart of the city.

It will mean more cameras, five more closed circuit television cameras, more lighting and more signage as well as new software – predictive technology – to help identify where crimes are likely to occur before they happen. We know that CCTV is great technology. We’ve seen how important it is just recently with the Boston Marathon bombing in investigating that crime and arresting the individuals that are allegedly involved. It’s also important in deterring crime – when there’s a sign that says ‘You’re Under Surveillance’ or that ‘You’re Being Monitored’, you’re less likely to get up to no good. But the new technology which Adelaide Council is employing here will also help police before crimes happen. There’s some new stuff going on here which is quite innovative. I’ve seen up in Cairns, the police there have got their iPads in their police cars linked to closed circuit television cameras so they can see what’s happening all around town.

This new technology will link not just to the cameras all around the park, but right across across the city, the 70 or so cameras across the city to help give our police extra information and assistance before crime or anti-social behaviour is likely to take place.

In addition to the cameras here, we’re also putting in new cameras at Henley Beach and at Salisbury, and we’re also providing $300,000 to the Blue Light organisation. They’re running a program which will help about 3,000 young people that are at risk of falling off the tracks and getting involved in crime. They’ll run camps and outdoor activities and extra mentoring for young people that are at risk of getting in trouble with the law. We know organisations like Blue Light and PCYC have got a great track record of helping a lot of young people. The money that we give to this organisation here in South Australia will reap big dividends.

So this an important announcement for Adelaide, an important announcement for South Australia, and all of this money is being funded from money that we’ve seized from criminals. It’s money that we’ve seized from criminals that will make the streets of Adelaide safer. Let me ask Kate to say a few words and then Michael and then happy to take your questions.

KATE ELLIS: Well thank you very much Jason. What you see behind me here is Labor in action. This is the result of a Labor Federal Government working with a Labor State Government to literally build Adelaide and re-build Adelaide Oval. Now, we know that infrastructure is incredibly important. And we are proud of the record levels of investment we’re putting into Adelaide and our local community facilities. But we also know that is about much more than bricks and mortar. We want to have a fantastic first class stadium in Adelaide Oval but we also want to make sure that it is a safe and secure environment for people to enjoy as well as for local residents. That’s why I’m so pleased to see that our Government will invest almost half a million dollars into security measures here so that we can make sure that people have a great day out at the footy or at the cricket and that it’s also a safe day out and that anyone who looks at flouting that will be caught.

We know that this is a really important move for Adelaide City Council as well because it means that we will shift the CCTV process from being a reactive process to being a proactive one. We want to make sure that we stamp out crime on the streets of Adelaide. We want to make sure that people can enjoy a safe day out. This is another example of Labor investing in building Adelaide. It stands in stark contrast to the cuts that we know our community would be faced with if Tony Abbott is elected on September 7. I want to make sure that we can continue to see record levels of investment in Adelaide. Not cuts to our schools, not cuts to our health services, not cuts to our community facilities, but investment. And this is a great example of that. And I will hand over to Michael to talk more from a city council’s point of view about why this is such a great announcement.

MICHAEL LLEWELLYN-SMITH: Thank you Minister. City Council is really pleased to be receiving this grant which will improve our CCTV coverage of the whole city. While there’ll be five new cameras down King William Street and some signage and pedestrian lighting, it will improve overall the quality of the CCTV we’re able to provide for this city and that means a great deal in terms of the safety of the people who are using this the city. They’ll be a lot more people coming to the city when the Oval is finished and they will be moving into the city and into the west end in particular and so to have this advanced technology, which we are working very closely with the police, will be a terrific boost to the city and so we are very grateful for the grant announced this morning. Thank you very much.

JOURNALIST: So Minister, is this going to be cameras centred around the oval, or more in King William Street?

CLARE: Along King William and Michael you can talk more about this in a bit more detail but the cameras will go along King William. Right along through here. Just behind us right here.

JOURNALIST: So it hasn’t got anything to do with the Oval, it’s to do with King William Street.

CLARE: It’s got to do with the people using the Oval. You know, we have lots and lots more people come here to watch the footy and to watch the cricket. We were talking just before about how you get a great number of people moving from the MCG and the CBD in the Melbourne. Lots of people enjoying both parts of town. With a bigger oval and football now being played here, we’re going to have lots more people come to watch the footy and then go for a night out in the entertainment quarter or come and have dinner in the city, it’s important that they feel safe when they’re walking from one part of town to the other. We’ve got 70 cameras here already, this extra funding will mean more cameras and more lighting so people feel safe when they’re out and about here in Adelaide.

JOURNALIST: But this isn’t really a crime hot spot in Adelaide.

CLARE: Well we take advice from the police on where the cameras should go and from the council and the council’s advice to us is that this is a gap. There’s no cameras here at the moment. And with a lot of people moving from the oval to the city, it’s the right place for the cameras to go.

LLEWELLYN-SMITH: We’ve got about 70 cameras already, so although it’s only five extra cameras, what we’re really interested in is the improved technology which will apply throughout the whole system. So that’s where we’re getting the benefit.

JOURNALIST: Minister Ellis, is five cameras enough to save your seat?

ELLIS: Look, what I’m interested in is saving the safety and security of the local community. We never take the seat of Adelaide for granted. We are always sure that this will be a really tough challenge ahead. But I’m also absolutely convinced that there is nobody who will work harder for the people of Adelaide than me and nobody who has a better record of securing record levels of investment for our community. This announcement just builds on that hard work already done over nine years.

JOURNALIST: Are you in trouble do you think?

ELLIS: Look as I said, we don’t take any election for granted. I know that this will absolutely be a tough challenge and that is why I am determined to spend each and every moment getting out there and trying to convince the people of Adelaide that no one will work harder and no one has a better record of investment for this community.

JOURNALIST: But would you say the Kevin Rudd factor, which if the polls are to be taken at face value at least, that the honeymoon is over. People are turning against him. You’ve got very little to thank Kevin Rudd for, have you?

ELLIS: The seat of Adelaide is one that has always been a tough seat. I’m incredibly proud of how hard we’ve fought to hold onto this seat but I’m prouder of how hard we’ve worked to deliver great results to the local community and that’s the message that I will be out there pushing each and every day up until election day and I’m happy to be standing on my record to convince the local population that a vote for Kate Ellis is a vote for record levels of investment.

JOURNALIST: Minister this release talks about local solutions to local problems, I mean what research was done to identify this area as a problem?

ELLIS: Well, as we’ve already heard from both Minister Clare and from Michael, we speak a lot with local police and with the local council about where the gaps are. But in terms of my experience, I can tell you that as someone who has held regular street corner meetings over nine years, who has constantly been holding constituent meetings and clinics and mobile offices, I’ve heard directly from one local father whose son was brutally bashed in this vicinity and wants more done in terms of CCTV and lighting to make sure that that doesn’t happen to anyone else’s child. So I’ve taken on board that, I’ve constantly lobbied Minister Clare and our Government to make sure that we keep investing in safety and security for Adelaide residents and I’m very proud about today’s announcement.

JOURNALIST: But there hasn’t been a rise in crime in this area.

ELLIS: Look as I said, we base this on police information on the best place to place cameras and on working with the local council to determine where the gaps are in the existing system. We also expect that there will be a major increase in the number of people in this area and the number of people entering or leaving sporting facilities and we want to make sure that that doesn’t equate to an increase in violence.

JOURNALIST: Should there or will there be cameras on the footbridge being as that will take a lot of pedestrian traffic going back into the city?

ELLIS: Look as I said I understand that those decisions will be made in determination with both the State Government but also with local police authorities and council experts. We want to make sure that we have these facilities where they are most required and we are happy to leave that to the experts to determine. What we’ll do is fight for the funding and make sure that we are Government that is committed to making this investment in Adelaide.

JOURNALIST: Sorry, Minister Clare, one more for you. You made reference to the Boston Marathon bombings (inaudible) and how vital cameras were there. Is there fear that with a big stadium being built here and bigger events, is there terrorism fears? Is that what this is about?

CLARE: No, no. Absolutely not. What I’m saying is that cameras are effective in the investigation of crime. Where a crime occurs you can use that footage to find the perpetrator. We’ve seen evidence of that in America and we’ve seen evidence of that recently here in Australia. They’re important in deterring people from committing crimes as well. If you know there’s a camera, you’re less likely to get up to no good. But with new technology that we’re going to employ here in Adelaide, it might just take us to the next step too where police can get the information they need before the crime is even committed.

JOURNALIST: Can you clarify? You made reference as well to up in Cairns where the iPad link. Will that be happening here as well?

CLARE: No, that’s, when we talked about local solutions to local problems, what we’re seeing here is police and councils trialling different ideas right across the country. What they’ve got there are cameras with Wi-Fi that link to iPads that they’ve got in the car and they’ve said that’s something they want to give a go. They think that’ll work. We’ve said ‘You beaut, let’s give it a go’. Here, the council have said ‘We want to connect up all of the cameras that are here in the city with new software that’s being developed to help predict where a crime or anti-social behaviour is likely to occur.’ If it works here in Adelaide, I suspect you’re going to find Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and other parts of Australia say ‘We want to do what Adelaide’s doing.’

CLARE: I’m not going to pretend to be a resident expert on the software. Michael and I had a chat about it before. What it does is it helps to alert the person monitoring the closed circuit television cameras where people might have been gathering in a group, or be around for too long or coming back and forth. It helps to target, train the eye on the – (inaudible).

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

CLARE: (inaudible) Is this an Australian first, Michael?

LLEWELLYN-SMITH: We think it is an Australian first. We think we’re doing it first in Adelaide. And if it works, I’m sure it will go to the other capital cities as well.

JOURNALIST: Ok, so that’s quite a good thing, to have it be trialled here.

LLEWELLYN-SMITH: I think it’s terrific that Adelaide will be first (inaudible).


Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600