Station strong stance

By Evelyn Leckie –

MEMBER for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has renewed calls for an upgrade of the Whittlesea Police Station, describing the working conditions for members at the station as ‘disgraceful’.

During an adjournment debate directed to the Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville in State Parliament recently, Ms Lovell sought a commitment to provide funding in the 2020-21 State Budget to complete an upgrade of the station.

Ms Lovell first raised the need for a refurbishment at the police station in 2017 and prior to the 2018 state election, the Coalition made a commitment to provide a $2 million upgrade to the station.

“Prior to the last State Election, the now silent Labor Member for Yan Yean promised the station would receive an upgrade yet nothing has been done,” Ms Lovell said.

“The Whittlesea Police Station is no longer fit-for-purpose and I call on the Minister to ensure the inclusion of funding in the upcoming State Budget to complete an upgrade at the station.”

Ms Lovell acknowledged the strong advocacy of the Whittlesea Police Community Action Group and the wider Whittlesea community for their local police.

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green hit back at Ms Lovell, saying the community knows she campaigned strongly against ill-informed rumours regarding the closure of Whittlesea Police Station.

“I won’t be taking any community safety and policing advice from a Shepparton-based Liberal MP, especially given crime surged on her government’s watch,” Ms Green said.

“Despite scaremongering by Wendy Lovell and former Whittlesea councillor Ricky Kirkham, crime in Whittlesea has dropped.

“The facts are that Crime Statistics Agency data shows a decrease in crime in Whittlesea, and our Police Academy has never before trained so many new officers.

“Funding of police infrastructure is always determined at budget time, with the Government taking the advice of Victoria Police when upgrades or rebuilding of stations are required.”