Police | February 28, 2017
Kealy calls for urgent reopening of Balmoral Police Station
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP has spoken in Parliament and called on the Hon. Lisa Neville, Minister for Police to urgently reopen the Balmoral Police Station which has been closed for over nine months.
“The Balmoral Police Station has now been closed for nine months, and community members are feeling vulnerable and concerned about Police response times in the event of an emergency,” Ms Kealy said.
Victoria Police has undertaken a recruitment process for the permanent position at the one-man Balmoral Police Station but has failed to fill the position.
“With another recruitment round looming it is unlikely Balmoral will have their police station open for at least another three months,” Ms Kealy said.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Balmoral and surrounding community will have their local police station closed for over a year.
“Under the Andrews Labor Government the one-man Minyip Police Station was closed for 18 months and the three-man Kaniva Police Station operated with only one officer for 12 months and was closed when the sole officer took an extended well-earned break.
“Labor put a freeze on police recruitment when they formed Government in 2014. Since then we've seen country police stations struggling to recruit, simply due to lower police numbers in Victoria due to Labor's cuts,” she said.
Earlier this month Victoria’s top cop, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, confirmed that during 2015/16 the number of police per capita was cut, increasing by just 159 members.
“Local police are doing an amazing job, particularly considering they are covering a bigger region with fewer police on the beat. The problem is there are simply not enough police being trained by the Andrews Labor Government, hitting country regions the hardest,” Ms Kealy said.
“It is essential that the Balmoral station be reopened as soon as possible.
“The Minister for Police must urgently get more police on the beat in rural Victoria so that communities like Balmoral can feel safe with a police presence again,” she said.