THE new Lucas police station will be staffed by a mixture of new staff and existing Ballarat officers, according to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells.
Earlier this month, Mr Wells said the state government had earmarked $8 million in this year’s budget to buy land and build a police station as part of a new emergency services hub in Ballarat West.
Mr Wells said on Monday there would be more police in Ballarat between now and the November state election, with scope for some new officers to be stationed in Lucas.
“Already Ballarat has received 65 extra police, so that will be left to police command in this area on how they allocate resources to Lucas,” Mr Wells said.
“But there will be more coming between now and the election date where we said we would deliver the 1700 police.”
When asked whether the new police would occupy the Lucas station, Mr Wells said that would be determined by Ballarat police command.
“You wouldn’t want to put all brand new police out at Lucas. You’ll need experience with new police officers,” Mr Wells said. “That’s a matter for local command ... they will deal with the allocation of police to the Lucas site.”
Mr Wells said police were in talks with the CFA and Ambulance Victoria about the development of the proposed emergency services hub.
The minister was in Ballarat on Monday to officially announce the new protective services officers (PSOs), who will patrol Ballarat Railway Station between 6pm until the last train leaves, every night from Tuesday night.
Mr Wells said at least two PSOs would be based at the Lydiard Street train station, but none in Wendouree.
Western region assistant police commissioner Jack Blayney did not reveal the total number of PSOs to be stationed at Ballarat, but said there would be a sufficient number to ensure two officers could work every shift.
Member for Ballarat West Sharon Knight said the Coalition government had gone back on its word in 2010 to deploy PSOs at Wendouree railway station.
“The Liberal government has broken a promise to Wendouree and Premier Denis Napthine should admit to this broken promise and apologise,” Ms Knight said.