The Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney today said the record $1.9 billion Victoria Police budget unveiled in today’s State Budget 2009 highlights the Brumby Labor Government’s commitment to investing in our police force to deliver a safer Victoria, now and into the future.
Ms Tierney said as part of this record investment, funding would be provided through the Government’s $10M Police Station Priority Upgrade Program for small refurbishment and maintenance works at the Camperdown, Port Fairy, Portland and Warrnambool Police Stations.
She said this was the second year of the $10M three year program which provides much-needed refurbishments to police stations, with the majority of works focusing on upgrading security.
“The Brumby Government is committed to continually modernising and upgrading police facilities across the State to assist local police officers in keeping communities safe.” Ms Tierney said.
As part of our $10M Police Station Priority Upgrade Program the Camperdown, Port Fairy, Portland and Warrnambool Police Stations will receive:
– $333,000 for the provision of a digital telephone system and to install a lift at the Warrnambool Police Station
– $174,000 to replace the heating, revamp the interview rooms and replace the generator at the Portland Police Station
– $35,000 to upgrade the security/CCTV systems at Camperdown Police Station
– $25,000 to upgrade the security system at the Port Fairy Police Station
“These upgrades will enhance the working conditions at the station and improve the capabilities of our terrific local police.”
Ms Tierney said an additional $48.3 million will go towards rebuilding police facilities across the State, including 10 in regional Victoria and planning for a further two in metro Melbourne.
She said $16 million of the $48.3 million package was allocated to refurbishing Victoria Police accommodation at the World Trade Centre and ensuring planning is undertaken for an efficient relocation to another site.
“Across the board, we are ensuring our dedicated police officers have the modern facilities they need to do their job and keep local communities safe,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Brumby Government is rebuilding ten regional police stations in this budget – at a cost of $32.3 million – providing a major boost to regional economies and local jobs.
“Since coming to office in 1999, this Government has committed nearly $450 million to rebuilding or significantly refurbishing over 160 police stations and residences across the State.”
Ms Tierney said the Budget also has measures to combat the road toll, especially in regional areas, giving police access to the latest in speed, drink and drug detection devices to save lives.
She said the $1.8 million program to install Moving Mode Radar units into police cars would allow police to monitor traffic speeds while patrolling.
“This equipment is an effective way to reduce crashes on undivided highways in regional areas.”
Ms Tierney also announced that there would be a toughening up of the Brumby Government’s anti-hoon regime.
“Under new laws, first-time offenders caught speeding at 70 kilometres per hour or more above the speed limit will have their vehicle immediately impounded for three months.”
Ms Tierney said new laws would also target repeat drink, drug and unauthorised drivers.
“Drivers who speed excessively, repeatedly drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or drive while disqualified will now face having their vehicle impounded by the Courts,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Brumby Government’s anti-hoon regime has been very successful as it hits hoons where it hurts by taking away their car.
“I know our local community will join with me in welcoming a toughening up of our hoon laws as they are a menace to our local neighbourhood and endanger themselves and others.”
Ms Tierney said the Brumby Government recognised graffiti continued to be a problem and was responding with a further funding commitment.
“We recognise graffiti is a stain on local communities and we will deliver $4.5 million to extend the Government’s successful Graffiti Prevention and Removal Strategy, Ms Tierney said.
“As part of the Government’s graffiti strategy we will continue to provide grants to local communities for graffiti removal projects and put low-risk offenders to work cleaning up graffiti in neighbourhoods as repatriation for their crimes.”