Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — A month out from last year’s state election the Premier was quoted in the Geelong Advertiser as having said:
“There’s still very much a law and order issue in Geelong and there’s a shortage of police … We need more of them in the street …”
That was on 1 November last year. At a community safety forum in Geelong in 2007, as reported in the Geelong Advertiser of 14 September 2011, Mr Baillieu said:
“You would have to have your head in the sand not to know that Geelong needed more police …
“We identified a shortfall of over 70. We have committed to provide that.”
It has been almost one full year and the Baillieu government has provided hardly any police. In fact we got only 2 allocated to the Geelong region out of the 70 promised.
Honourable members interjecting.
The PRESIDENT — Order! I will interrupt Ms Tierney for just a moment. I ask members on my right to have their committee meeting outside. If it is just dissipating or they are not going to have it at all, I do not see why it was necessary to intrude on Ms Tierney’s contribution. Ms Tierney to continue; my apologies for that.
Ms TIERNEY — After almost a year of this government, the people of Victoria have become accustomed to the fact that the coalition blatantly misled Victorians to win government. We only need to ask the teachers, nurses, police officers and low-paid public sector workers to verify this. But what is very alarming is this government’s lack of commitment to law and order and adequate police levels. The Geelong Advertiser recently revealed that five stations throughout the greater Geelong area could close on certain days because of staff shortages. Officers from stations in Lara and the Bellarine Peninsula have to fill holes at 24-hour stations like Geelong and Corio, leaving stations in Geelong not staffed. People in Geelong are demanding answers from this government as to why the situation has escalated to this point and where are the 70 new police officers — —
The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time has expired.