Commissioner of Police

Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (12:57): It is with great pleasure that I rise on behalf of the opposition to support the motion. I indicate that, as shadow minister, I have enjoyed a terrific working relationship with Commissioner Burns, as indeed have the members for Stuart and Morphett (as shadow ministers) prior to me. Were it not for the late hour of this debate, where we have only two minutes until the closure of private members time, I know that those two members in particular would have very much enjoyed the opportunity to rise to express their personal appreciation, as well as on behalf of the opposition.

Gary Burns started his career in 1969. He has provided the South Australian community with 46 years of exemplary service in a range of positions within the South Australian police force. He was the dux of his commissioned officers course in 1991 and he was the first STAR Group officer to take the job of Commissioner of Police. In 1978, as a 25-year-old constable, he received the Australian Bravery Medal for saving two elderly women from a burning cottage. He is a recipient of the South Australian Police Medal and a member of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee. His family is a proud policing family. His grandfather, his son, and his wife have contributed to the police force. We are grateful for his service.

We are also pleased to support the motion and the appointment by the minister of current Deputy Commissioner Grant Stevens as our new police commissioner and Assistant Commissioner Linda Williams as South Australia's first female deputy police commissioner in the 100th anniversary year of women in the South Australian police force. They all have a great deal to be proud of.

I am pleased that we have the opportunity to pass this motion in the house this morning, with 10 seconds to go, I think. I urge all members to support this motion.

Motion carried.