There are no immediate plans to adopt Infrastructure Victoria’s bold vision for police super stations in regional Victoria, the police minister says.
In its controversial plan Infrastructure Victoria recommends building three supersites in each of the five Melbourne metropolitan sub-regions, two in the Geelong region and one in each of the seven Victorian regional areas including Ballarat.
The report says the project – which could cost up to $1 billion would implement a move to larger police station ‘supersites’ supporting police ‘service points’ within local communities.
“This is known, in general terms, as a ‘hub and spoke’ model, which would be progressively delivered over time,” the report states.
“This would be a service delivery shift resulting in consolidation of an undetermined number of police stations, particularly where operating costs are high and use is low. This would drive significant change in the ability of police to respond to demand by optimising police assets.”
But the police minister Lisa Neville remains determined to ensure local police stations are maintained throughout Victoria.
“It’s not government policy to develop police supersites at the expense of local police stations,” Ms Neville said.
“Our priority at the moment is that we address key crime issues and get more front-line police into our growth areas to respond to increased demand.
“There’s no suggestion that police supersites would improve community services or community safety.”
Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, Secretary of the Police Association told the media it would not be the right time to close police stations due to a rising crime rate.
He has made his views clear to police command, the opposition and the government.
"Their view is they're not in favour of super sites. They've given a commitment that no police station will close, I think that's good for the community, but also good for the members."