State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has sought a guarantee from the Police Minister that Lakes Entrance will be adequately staffed with increased police numbers over the Christmas holiday period.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Mr Bull said his office had heard concerns from local business leaders and community members that additional police would not be allocated and in fact there were concerns the station may even be below its full roster capacity due to staff being on secondments and maternity leave.
“From memory the station has full roster of around 17 staff and with the population to grow from 6,500 to over 50,000 over the holiday period there obviously needs to be an increased presence.
“The concerns I am hearing from the community is that while additional staff are being allocated for New Year’s Eve, there is no increased police presence for the remainder of the holiday period and in fact there may not even be a full regular roster.
“So I have asked the Minister to guarantee that not only will there be a full roster, but that there will be increased police numbers right over the holiday period to deal with this influx of people and allow pro-active policing.
“Our local officers do an outstanding job, but they do need support in peak holiday times,” he said.
Mr Bull said business and community leaders from organisations such as Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association have worked hard over many years to make Lakes Entrance a safe family friendly destination for visitors and local families alike.
“A strong police presence is a core component of Lakes Entrance being a family friendly environment, and has resulted in improved crowd behaviour at various events.
“Given the Minister repeatedly states that he recognises the importance of community safety, I have sought his personal guarantee that there will not only be a full roster of police at Lakes Entrance over the Christmas/New Year holiday period, but additional staff for this entire holiday period will be provided,” Mr Bull said.