Thursday, 3 May 2018
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has again raised the need for a new 24-hour Inverell Police Station in State Parliament, maintaining the pressure on the government to fund the complete knock down and rebuild as a matter of urgency.
Addressing the Legislative Assembly this week, Mr Marshall detailed the how the 58-year-old out-dated and inefficient station was inappropriate for modern policing and the law and order demands of the growing Inverell district.
“We urgently need a brand new station – it is now critical,” Mr Marshall told Parliament. “We are going to need more officers working at Inverell’s 24-hour police station in the coming years and they simply won’t fit. The current station is already literally overflowing and cannot cope.
“The need for a new home for Inverell police is obvious to anyone who lives in the community or who has ever visited the station.
“It is nearly 60 years old, but more important than its age is that policing has changed dramatically in that time and its demands are not matched by the antiquated facilities.
“There are 46 fulltime police and staff currently crammed into the station, which was built in 1960, when Inverell was less than half the size it is today and had only 14 police working in the same space.
“There’s also a police boat and 13 vehicles, that sit out in the open due to a lack of storage space onsite.”
Last September, Mr Marshall convened a meeting at Parliament with Police Minister Troy Grant, Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys and Inverell Mayor Paul Harmon.
“I thank Minister Grant and Commissioner Fuller for the allocation of $250,000 to undertake some urgent repairs to ensure the station complies with work health safety requirements, but that is just a short term fix – a band aid applied over the top of many other old band aids,” Mr Marshall said.
The local MP’s campaign for a new police station goes back to 2015, when he first called for the Inverell Police Station to be rebuilt.
“Many of the same issues I raised back then have only been temporarily alleviated or have escalated,” Mr Marshall said.
“There is still only one interview room, there is no female locker room despite the strong contingent of female officers, the muster room is too small and people giving statements have to be walked past officers’ desks.
“Detectives have taken over the police residences in order to some basic semblance of an office from which to work from, as the station is quite literally overflowing.”
“We need a knock-down and rebuild with a larger and more modern station to service the needs of the Inverell community for the next few decades.”
Mr Marshall will re-double his efforts to ensure funding is allocated by the government for the new station. He will not be going away.
“I’m not going to let up on this one,” he said. “I’ll keep arguing the case and lobbying government until we get our new station.
“Armidale’s new 24-hour police station was built in 2007, Moree’s was built in 2013 and Inverell’s must be next and must be committed to quickly.”