Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — It is alarming, but not surprising, to read in today’s Maroondah Leader that over the last month Ringwood has been without a police day shift patrol van on several occasions. We have fewer police officers now than when the government was elected, all at a time when our hardworking local police are having to deal with crime increasing under the Andrews Labor government and the scourges of family violence and ice in the local community.
The minister refuses to answer basic questions within the time frame set down by the Parliament. Questions put to the minister that are well overdue include when the jail at the Ringwood police station will receive custody officers and whether the police doing the babysitting will be returned to the beat in Ringwood. He has also failed to answer what number of police and policing hours are being taken up minding prisoners at the Ringwood jail. These are very important questions for my community. For a government that promised transparency, we see very little of it.
The safety of my community is a priority, and we will not be sidelined or treated with contempt by a Minister for Police and a Premier who refuse to fund more police officers across our state as our population increases by an MCG full of people per year. The Premier wasted $860 million by cancelling the east–west link, and when one thinks about how many additional police officers that could have funded, one can be nothing but disgusted. I know my community is. I call on the Premier and the Minister for Police to start acting in the interests of my community, to answer our questions and to prioritise resourcing additional police in Ringwood.