Colac’s police officers could keep working from an under-resourced police station with contractors quoting millions of dollars above the budget to build a new station.
The State Government announced in April last year it would spend $11.47 million on building a new state-of-the-art police station.
But Polwarth MP Richard Riordan said he had concerns about the project’s future with reports all tenders for the build were about $15 million which could lead to the government dumping key elements of the new station.
Mr Riordan said he would ask the government in parliament this week if it would commit more funds to the project “or are they going to make our community end up with a second-rate police station?”.
Colac’s police officers currently have to transport offenders to Geelong, Ballarat or Warrnambool if they need to be in custody for an extended period.
Mr Riordan said he believed the government was planning to cut out holding cells that would allow police to keep offenders in custody, and the sexual assault unit could also leave Colac.
“One of the spruiking points of this new facility would be custody cells that can hold people for the weekend or until a bail can be heard,” he said.
“And one of the things I understated slated to be cut would be the capacity for them to hold people long term, so that would be a disaster.
“Another one and this is the one most troubling for victims in the Colac community, sexual assault unit could be taken from Colac, which would mean people who have been traumatised and are in quite a bad way are now going to be forced to drive to Geelong to have their voices heard.”
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.