Purdie calls hoax on pumped up police promise
Shadow police minister Dan Purdie has called the announcement of more officers for the Coast a hoax, saying local cops have been screaming for backup for years.
Police Minister Mark Ryan on Monday said a new $9 million police facility would be built at Caloundra South, plus a $4 million police facility at Cooroy.
He said minimum of 150 extra police officers will also be deployed to the new North Coast Policing Region, which includes the Sunshine Coast.
But he couldn't say how many new officers would be going to the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Ryan said it was the biggest increase in policing resources in more than 30 years.
"It's a big investment but it's a necessary investment to support community safety outcomes right across the state," he said.
"It's about stopping crime before it happens."
However, Mr Purdie said the promise of 150 new officers was a hoax.
"The 535 they promised last election still hasn't been rolled out yet, so no one's really buying that amount," he said.
"There's been absolutely no growth (in police numbers) in Caloundra under two terms of this government but in that time the population of Caloundra and Beerwah have exploded and so has the crime rate.
"So our local police have been essentially screaming for backup from this government for years and all those cries have fallen on deaf ears."
Mr Purdie said while the State Government was good at making announcements, it had a long history of being soft on crime.
"It's just a slap in the face to our local police and our local community," he said.
"Our local police have been ignored for two terms now.
"The minister has just sat on his hands while crime has legitimately spiralled out of control."
Sunshine Coast crime rates since Labor was elected in 2015:
- Robbery has increased 100 per cent
- Armed robbery has increased 48 per cent
- Unlawful use of motor vehicle has increased 74 per cent
- Shop stealing has increased 48 per cent
Alongside the announcement of the two new stations, a $10 million construction contract was awarded to Sunshine Coast builder BBN Constructions for a new police facility at Nambour.
The North Coast Policing Region will extend from Caboolture to Wide Bay, with the Police Commissioner allocating where the new 150 plus officers will be stationed.
Mr Ryan said the newly created region would have a dedicated assistant commissioner with headquarters on the Sunshine Coast.
" … So bringing the leadership of the police service closer to the front line but also
making sure the community is closer to the leadership of the QPS," he said.
Mr Ryan said the government would receive input from local officers as to what they wanted to see in their new facilities.
"The Cooroy facility is outdated, it is in need of renewal," he said.
"Caloundra South a really fast growing part of the Sunshine Coast so it will be a big one to support policing here but also more broadly across the Sunshine Coast," he said.
Mr Ryan said while there were no set dates for when construction would be finished, the new stations could be expected to be delivered during the next term of government.