To ask the Minister for Police and Emergency Services: In relation to the current shortage of police officers in the Geelong and Surf Coast region —
(1) What is the minister currently doing to directly address this significant shortage.
(2) When will the minister explain to the Geelong community why the Baillieu government has failed on its promise for more police in the region.
(3) When will the Baillieu government fulfil its promise of over 70 new police officers to the Geelong region.
I am advised that:
(1) The government is conscious of the needs of the Greater Geelong area and is committed to making our communities safer so families can feel safe on our streets, on public transport and in their homes.
The provision of $602 million to deliver 1700 extra front-line police members by November 2014 plays a key part in this commitment and further funding of $56 million was announced in the recent 2012-13 state budget to upgrade police station infrastructure to accommodate the additional police and PSOs. In addition to the 450 extra front-line police deployed during 2010-11 and already out working in their communities, 400 additional police allocated in 2011-12 will be on the beat by the end of June 2012.
The government also announced $13.6 million funding for the completion of the new police station and VICSES combined facility at Waurn Ponds in the 2012-13 budget. The purchase of land for this facility is already under way.
(2) Division 1 of western region, which includes the Greater Geelong and Surf Coast police service areas (PSA), received an additional eight police officers in 2010-11, and is receiving a further six officers in 2011-12. Victoria Police also recently announced the allocation of an additional 20 general duty police officers to the Geelong PSA in 2012-13.
(3) The timing and size of any further increases in the number of police officers assigned to the Geelong PSA, and across Victoria, are the responsibility of the Chief Commissioner of Police. His determinations will take into account matters such as local requirements resulting from the opening of new police stations.