LABOR MPs have accused the state government of backing down on a promise to build a police station at Sebastopol.
Touring Albert Street this week, opposition police spokeswoman Jacinta Allan and Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said the Coalition had ignored the Ballarat region.
Ms Allan said there had been a dramatic increase in crime rates under the state government.
Crime was up 2.3 per cent in the Ballarat region in 2012, according to figures released last month. The year before the crime rate jumped 11.6 per cent. Both figures included increases in assault.
“That’s a consequence of when you take your eye off the ball and when you don’t provide the Victoria Police with the resources they need,” Ms Allan said.
She said (former) Police Minister Peter Ryan had failed to come through on his promise to build a police station in Sebastopol. Ms Knight said the community had been taken for granted.
“This was a major election commitment by the then Baillieu Opposition, but since coming to government the promise seems to have been put on the backburner or dumped altogether,” Ms Knight said.
Mr Ryan’s spokesman, Les White, said the state government was waiting for a Victoria Police proposal on the delivery of policing services to Sebastopol.
He said the state government would consider the proposal when it was received.
“The government is delivering on improved and enhanced policing services for Ballarat through additional resources and infrastructure,” he said.
Crime rates were lower under the previous Labor government, according to Ms Allan, who also said the Coalition had “hacked into the budget of Victoria Police”.
Mr White said the government’s commitment to law and order in Ballarat was evidenced by a series of measures, including an additional 55 police being deployed to the region, a $2.5 million upgrade of the North Ballarat and Sebastopol police facilities and the construction of the North Ballarat Police Station.