MEMBER for Western Victoria, Joshua Morris MP, has raised concerns in Parliament about how the Andrews Government intends to man the new police station at the soon to be completed Ballarat West emergency services precinct.
Speaking in Victorian Parliament, Mr Morris questioned how the new police station would be staffed following a dramatic reduction in Police resources across the state. “I note that the Ballarat West emergency services precinct is listed in the 2016–17 Victorian budget as being due to be completed prior to 30 June 2016, having been funded by the former Coalition government,” Mr Morris said.
“In the state of Victoria presently we have fewer police officers keeping our communities safe than we did prior to the Coalition leaving government in 2014.” The Andrews Government recently bowed to intense community pressure by investing in a modest increase to police numbers. “While Daniel Andrews’ announcement about police numbers is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough,” Mr Morris said. “The new police officers are not yet trained and when they are ready to start work they will simply be plugging the holes left by a year and a half of neglect under Daniel Andrews.”
The crime rate in Ballarat continues to surge and hardworking local Police officers are under increasing pressure to deal with rising thefts, drug related crime and family violence incidents.
“Local police resources are already stretched and current local police numbers shouldn’t be reshuffled and spread more thinly to man an additional local station.” “The Ballarat West emergency services precinct is an important project for families in Ballarat’s western growth corridor and that’s why the Coalition funded it.” “The project is due to be complete in a matter of weeks but the community still has no idea no the Andrews Government plans to man the police station.”
“I am calling on the Minister to commit to providing the appropriate allocation of police officers to open the new facility and to ensure that families in Ballarat’s fastest growing suburbs are kept safe.”