The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government to return four positions to the Whittlesea Police Station and guarantee it maintains a full complement of staff in the future.
In a constituency question to the Police Minister Lisa Neville in Parliament recently, Ms Lovell cited a recent public meeting at the Whittlesea Community Activity Centre as evidence the community was concerned their local police service would be negatively affected by the opening of the new Mernda Police Station.
“What the community learned at the meeting was that four positions had been taken from Whittlesea Police Station and earmarked for the Mernda Police Station, despite reassurances from Danielle Green and Lisa Neville that this would never happen,” Ms Lovell said.
“And Daniel Andrews also learned that the Whittlesea township is not going to stand by and see their police service diminish and this was evident from the size and passion of the crowd in attendance.”
Ms Lovell said the meeting achieved a promise from the superintendent that two of the positions would be returned to the Whittlesea Police Station, but the township demanded all four returned to ensure the station had its full complement of staff.
“With the four positions gone and two members on sick leave, staffing levels at Whittlesea Police Station have been depleted by 50% and community members are telling me they feel their town is unsafe as a result,” Ms Lovell said.
Ms Lovell said the Labor Government had been deceptive all the way along about the future of the police station and the Whittlesea community, including the station’s current serving members, deserve better.
“It is vital that the people of Whittlesea feel safe in their community and that the local police have the resources they need to deliver a quality policing service,” Ms Lovell said.
“That is why I want the Minister to reinstate the remaining two positions and guarantee a full complement of staff at the Whittlesea Police Station.”