Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has lashed the Labor Government after confirmation this week that 43 Victorian police stations - including Lakes Entrance - will reduce their front counter services.
“Our local police do a fantastic job and have the best interests of our community at heart, but this is a step in the wrong direction, especially at a station where the town’s population grows from 5,000 to 25,000 over the holiday period, yet we are told that by the end of this month opening hours will be reduced.
“I would expect we will get some additional police over the New Year period, but in past years they are gone by the first week of January and the massive holiday crowds are around for the full month.
“East Gippslanders know how busy Lakes Entrance gets over the holiday period and at a time when we need a significantly increased police presence and more accessibility at the station, this government cuts it.
“It just goes to show how little idea they have when it comes to country Victoria. I know we have some Ministers planning to holiday in the Lakes Entrance area this Christmas, so I hope they don’t have a need to seek an urgent interaction with the police at the local station.
“Then again, it just might take that for them to realise,” said Mr Bull.
Shadow Police Minister, Brad Battin, said only weeks ago Police Minister Anthony Carbines stated there were no staffing problems across Victoria Police.
“Yet, Victoria Police confirmed police counter services will be cut at 43 stations, but it is little wonder with 319 fewer serving officers now compared to 12 months ago, and spending on recruitment advertising is down 20 per cent compared to the year prior.
“This is what has led to opening hours being reduced.
“Victorian communities are being punished for Labor’s incompetence and these frontline service cuts are the results of Labor’s failure to invest in our police services and will result in poorer community safety outcomes,” he said.
Monday, 6 November 2023