Funding to install CCTV for Byron’s CBD has not only been refused by the state, but now by the federal government.
Despite in-principle support from Council and with urging from police and the business community, it appears the only option left is for CCTV to be installed and run privately.
President of Byron’s chamber of commerce (Byron United), Paul Waters, said that after the state government refused to assist, local MP Don Page approached the federal attorney-general’s office, who delegated the request to the federal minister for home affairs, Jason Clare.
That request was declined last week.
When Echonetdaily asked Richmond Labor MP Justine Elliot if she was able to make representations, she said she had also spoken to the home affairs minister about the need for CCTV, but again was not given any commitment.
‘It takes a suite of measures to address the complex issue of alcohol-related crime,’ she said. ‘Police numbers are vitally important to this. Community education and resources are also important. CCTV can also play a role.’
She also blamed the current state government for lack of police presence. ‘I know there are many great community groups working with the police to try to address these problems. While the police do a great job in difficult circumstances, the fact is, if there aren’t enough resources, the whole community suffers.
‘As Don Page has been unable to deliver a CCTV grant for the area I would urge him as minister for the north coast to get his government to deliver more police and resources to areas like Byron to help curb the alcohol-related violence.
‘We constantly see his government giving more police resources to Sydney, while our police numbers are cut on the north coast.’
Meanwhile Mr Waters says he has taken on loan ‘portable high-tech mobile CCTV units’, which he will trial in the next month. ‘We’ll look at sponsorship if the government doesn’t end up contributing,’ he says.