What a motion we have before us. Really, where do we begin? As members know, I have only been a shadow Minister for a short while. When I found out that my opposite number was David Elliott, I was a little bit worried. I thought to myself, "Here we have a senior, experienced and well-rounded Minister of the Crown—and a pitch‑perfect soprano in his spare time."
I thought to myself, "Whatever am I going to do?" So I have been busily going out and doing my work, meeting with stakeholders and understanding the portfolio area, as one would expect any new shadow Minister to do. In the meantime, what has the Minister for Police and Emergency Services been doing? He has been running stop‑and‑frisks on teenagers in the Hills District. He has been fender‑bendering his way around with his hat and his business card. He has been trying to instil fear in law‑abiding citizens across the State with the threat of random strip searches. He has even been telling the police to give his own children a hard time.
Here I was, learning about the safe and effective crewing of fire trucks and burying my head in the budget papers, and all the while I should have been sitting in on a few university lectures about Augusto Pinochet. I thought, perhaps naively, that my job was to hold this Minister to account for his policy failures, his cuts to frontline services and his undermining of the public service. But no, it turns out my job is better described as keeping a watching brief on creeping fascism in the New South Wales Parliament. So it does not matter that under this Minister's watch there are 174 vacant positions in the Rural Fire Service. It does not matter that in the lead‑up to a bushfire season everyone predicted would be the worst, this Minister has ripped out money from the Fire and Rescue NSW budget that could have paid for 250 extra firefighters.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I call the member for Wollondilly to order for the first time.
Ms TRISH DOYLE: It does not matter that there is a funding shortfall of some $49 million at the Rural Fire Service. These things do not matter because we are in a post‑truth world—a Trumpian dystopia where the Minister for Police and Emergency Services dismisses all of those facts and then attacks the Labor Party for daring to speak up for the community during their hour, their week, their month, their year of need. In the meantime, he is out there, Detective Dave, driving around the suburbs and hassling kids. With all the road rage and police impersonation, it is easy to forget that this is not the Minister's first rodeo, as the member for Auburn outlined and as Kylar Loussikian reminded us in theHerald a week or so ago.
Mr Loussikian is a good journalist; I know my staff always look forward to reading his column every day. He reminded us that in 2012—almost seven years to the day before his most recent turn as the cop from the Village People—that David Elliott was driving home one evening when he came across a group of youths. Big man, great saviour, hero, here he was, going to deal out some justice. So the Sheriff of Nottingham gets out of his car and demands that they provide him with their names. Afterwards he admitted that he did phone the real police, but not before he hassled those kids. This Minister is out of control. He is an embarrassment, but he is more than that. I have been having fun so far.
The Minister for Police and Emergency Services should be stood aside, but not because he is a bombastic buffoon. He should be stood aside, but not because he cannot be trusted not to carry on like a pork chop in his electorate. He should be stood aside, but not because he is slashing our emergency services budget—all the Liberals do that.