Consultation on Nunawading Police Station Closure

Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — My adjournment request is to the Minister for Police. I am very grateful that she is in the chamber as we speak, and I hope to get a positive response to the action I seek, which is for the minister to join me at a public forum in Nunawading with regard to residents who normally have access, and always have, to the Nunawading police station — those in Donvale, Mitcham, Blackburn, Nunawading and Blackburn North — to discuss with them and consult with them on the closure of public access to the Nunawading police station.

I draw to the attention of the minister her statement on Wednesday, 24 August, in relation to the reduced public access hours at Waurn Ponds, in which the minister said that she had urgently raised concerns with the Chief Commissioner of Police about a decision to change the counter hours and that this process requires police to consult with the community and show evidence that policing will be improved. She mentioned that in Waurn Ponds this process was not followed. This process was not followed in Nunawading for my community. The minister also said that first and foremost she wants communities to feel safe and that she will continue to work with the police and communities to make sure that this happens.

Obviously there are many issues that our communities are facing in relation to crime, family violence and certainly the direction of Victoria Police to encourage anybody who is in a minor accident to actually head to their police stations. No‑one in my community has been advised by Victoria Police or by the minister that Nunawading is closed, and I continue, when I turn up to that police station, to find people stopping there and walking up only to find a ‘closed’ sign — an actual ‘closed’ sign — on the door. This is disturbing. It was brought to my attention by a woman who had a road rage incident on the Eastern Freeway and made her way to the Nunawading police station only to find it was closed. The community does not know, and in the instance where they do go there, they are in a situation where there is no way for public access.

It concerns me greatly also for family violence that the new Forest Hill police station that we funded and built is 5 kilometres away. People who live and want to feel safe in their communities want to know that they are able to access it, whether it be for family violence reasons or whether it be for a potential carjacking, and they want to know that they have been informed about and consulted with in relation to the closure of public access to Nunawading. To that end they should be consulted and also made aware of any changes to that so they know where to go rather than turning up at the door and finding a ‘closed’ sign. I welcome the opportunity for the minister to join me in this process.