Ballarat company Brimarco will play a major role in the construction of 10 new booze and drug buses to be used throughout the state.
The Wendouree company, which was forced into administration in 2015 before being purchased by a new owner, will collaborate with Tullamarine-based business Byron Wade after being successful in the Victoria Police tender process.
Work on the $15 million project is expected to begin this year, with the fleet to be fully rolled out by the end of 2018.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the new vehicles, which were funded in the 2015/16 state budget, would allow Victoria Police to update its ageing fleet.
“This is a $15 million investment in 10 new state of the art drug and booze buses, purpose built and specifically designed to meet the needs of Victoria Police,” Ms Neville said.
Two different sized vehicles will be produced to give police greater flexibility when choosing which roads to set up on. The current, larger fleet are often too big to fit on smaller regional roads.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said the smaller vehicles would make people think twice about driving down back roads after drinking or using illicit drugs.
“Last year we got close to 9000 people for drug driving and nearly 10,000 people for drink driving, these numbers are really concerning because we know its these types of activities which make people have crashes and die on our roads,” Mr Fryer said.
“This will give us an ability to get into the back streets where people think they’re safe.”
Brimarco also won the previous booze bus contract back in 2002 and had also produced some of Victoria Police’s earliest buses in 1990.
Brimarco managing director Matt Kirwan-Hamilton said the business would look to put on between four and six new staff to complete the project and had already advertised three new roles.
“We have been using local, specialist suppliers a lot more during the last two years, which has helped us with flexibility. We hope the new contract will help us attract excellent new team,” Mr Kirwan-Hamilton said.