Labour has slammed the NSW government’s decision to delay an announcement on mergers of regional police Local Area Commands (LAC) until after the October 14 by-election.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced on Friday 42 metropolitan LAC commands would be merged to 32, but gave no clarification over the rumoured mergers between Griffith and Denniliquin or other regional areas.
The National Party Candidate for Murray Austin Evans hit back saying policing in the country is different to policing in the city, and “that’s why Police are looking at two very different structures for Metropolitan Sydney and Regional NSW.”
“We have made the commitment for there to be more police on the frontline and I’m happy to repeat myself until I’m blue in the face...It’s [the restructure] more boots on the ground and less bums on chairs behind desks.”
I’m happy to repeat myself until I’m blue in the face...It’s more boots on the ground and less bums on chairs behind desks.National's Candidate for Murray Austin Evans
However, NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley slammed the delay.
“They are hiding something. If there were to be more police for country NSW, for the Murray electorate, they’d announce it in the by-election campaign.”
If there were to be more police for country NSW, for the Murray electorate, they’d announce it in the by-election campaign.Leader of the NSW Labor Party Luke Foley
“Even the Cootamundera going back to Wagga will affect Narrandera, which will affect Leeton, Coleambally, Darlington Point,” Mr Foley said.
Labor Shadow Minister of Police Guy Zangari, said the people of Murray should be “worried” about the reason for the delay, which will come after the by-election.
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However Mr Evans said consultation is still being conducted in these areas to “make sure the new regional structure provides the best possible service to our communities.”
“While we’re out there actually working on solutions for more local police, in places like Leeton and Griffith where they are needed, all Labor and the Shooters are doing is complaining from the sidelines.”