Police bans: Ballarat motorists get speed camera warning

BALLARATpolice yesterday parked near a fixed red light camera at the corner of Sturt and Gillies streets, flashing their lights to warn motorists as part of an ongoing pay dispute.Police Association Assistant Secretary Bruce McKenzie said Ballarat police had been “staunch” in their support for a pay rise and didn’t rule out similar efforts in the future.“It’s disappointing we’ve had to go down this track,” he said.“(But) actions such as these are necessary because our members have lost patience with the government after months of delays and avoidance.”Mr McKenzie said the government had at least made progress on their promise for 1700 more police officers for Victoria.“We were very pleased to be advised by the members at Ballarat that some of these numbers are starting to flow through to this area,” Mr McKenzie said from Ballarat yesterday.The state government has offered police a 2.5 per cent pay increase, but the Police Association claims, with inflation at 3.5 per cent, the offer is essentially a “step back”.Police are demanding a 4.5 per cent rise.Mr McKenzie said the Police Association was concerned low pay might stop prospective recruits from wanting to join Ballarat’s police resurgence.“With the extra members in Ballarat, police are doing a great job tackling the issues that have surrounded Ballarat’s nightclub precinct,” he said.“But now people might look at the salary scale and decide they don’t want to be a police officer in Ballarat,” he said.Victorian police officers have been taking protected industrial action in support of their pay campaign since June 7. The flashing of police emergency car lights at the location of traffic cameras has been among several industrial action measures taken by police, which also include not keeping official statistics and a refusal to answer emails.