Kingston Police Resources

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Police. The action I seek is for the minister to join me and visit regional police in the Moorabbin district in the City of Kingston to meet with local residents to discuss some of the priorities and concerns for our region. Let us be clear at the outset: there has been no reduction in police resourcing in the City of Kingston. In fact we are investing in more police, and the 2016–17 budget was evidence of that, with $596 million put into a public safety package. But I understand the concerns of my local residents and my community when they say they are concerned about public safety.

There is nothing more fundamental in our community than feeling safe and secure. When confronted with some of the challenges we have been facing recently, which include — as I note based on meeting with my regional police officers — family violence, the issues with ice and now some of these thefts, home invasions and carjackings across our region, we are presented with a challenge and a need to take action. That is exactly what the police minister is doing with extra resourcing and with the introduction of specific offences, particularly around carjacking and home invasion, which will go through the Parliament shortly with statutory minimum sentences. When presented with such challenges, you are to act, and that is what the government is doing.

This action also comes with resourcing. When we talk about prevention and when we talk about taking away the politics of policing, which has been a hot topic for decades in our state, I note that the appropriate jurisdiction and the appropriate decision-making should be with the police commissioner, Graham Ashton. When a request for more resourcing comes it is on our government to act. That is what we are doing, and that is why we are fast-tracking resources with an additional $26 million investment.

When we talk about prevention, it is across the board; it is across the board in early intervention as well. It is not just early intervention in terms of policing; it is education — intervention through education — and it is through trying to reach out to communities of disadvantage and to break that cycle. That is how you solve these problems. It is not just on the lock-them-up side. You need that strong punishment; you need that proper policing. But there are two sides of the street. It is twofold. That is very important.

I have been disappointed with some council candidates in my area trying to mislead our community and stir up the fear that has been put forward by the opposition. There have been no changes in police hours in my electorate; there have been no changes in resourcing, and there will not be. I look forward to joining the minister in my electorate in meeting with residents and having a conversation about the policing challenges over the last six years and genuinely informing them on how we are trying to address those concerns and improve resources. I look forward to the minister visiting my community in the coming weeks.