Police Minister duckshoves police presence problems

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of action from the Allan Labor Government to combat the growing crime rate and keep Gippslanders and their property safe.

Mr O’Brien said he was extremely disappointed that questions he raised with the Minister for Police, Anthony Carbines in Parliament last year around improving police presence and deterring crime throughout Gippsland South were met with Labor’s trademark duck-shoving.

“I raised my concerns with the Minister late last year following a spate of crime across South Gippsland, including break-ins at the supermarket in Meeniyan, the Yanakie Motocross Club, Aherns Fruit Market in Foster and the Fish Creek Football Netball Clubrooms which were also burnt to the ground,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is clear from the growing crime statistics since Labor formed government, a 66.6 per cent increase in South Gippsland Shire in particular, that the Allan Labor Government must do more to combat this troubling trend.

“The Minister, however, has made no attempt to address my concerns of growing crime across Gippsland simply citing that additional police officers have been allocated to the Eastern Region Division.

“To be clear, the Eastern Region Division is one of just four police regions in Victoria and covers a huge geographical area including Shepparton, Moe, Mallacoota, Wodonga and everything in between.”

Mr O’Brien said he was equally disturbed by the Attorney-General’s response when questioned in Parliament in November about operators of Aherns Fruit Market in Foster twice receiving a message saying, ‘Sorry, we’re too busy. Call us back’ when attempting to call 000 to notify of a burglary in progress.

“The Attorney-General, who is also the Minister for Emergency Services simply said that that is an issue for Telstra. No promise of further follow-up or investigation.

“There is a growing and worrying trend among the Allan Labor Government to blame-shift and make excuses when it is clear that their policies and practices are not achieving the best outcomes for Victorians, let alone those in regional communities.”

Mr O’Brien said he will continue to push for increased police presence and resources in Gippsland.

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