11.1 C
Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Tweed-Byron police numbers drop

Latest News

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.

Other News

War The Bloody Hell Are You?

When faced with potential conflict, why are we abandoning the strategy that’s worked in the past for one that will definitely fail?

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As...

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Marvell Hall’s ‘Dangerously Poetic’ fundraiser

This Sunday Marvell Hall will host a tribute to some of the street-named fellows with poetry, music and portraits as a fundraiser for the hall.

Remembering Bentley

Saturday 15 May is the seventh anniversary of Victory Day at the historic Bentley Blockade, just west of Lismore.

MAYDAY – MAYDAY – One hundred years ago today

One hundred years ago this week, around noon on Saturday 14 May 1921, the 2,000 tonne steamship Wollongbar ran aground on Belongil beach.

Chris Dobney

Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot has accused her state counterpart and parliamentary secretary for police of presiding over a drop of 34 serving police officers in the region over the past 12 months.

It follows calls from Byron’s business chamber (Byron United) for additional police to assist with the town’s alcohol related violence, with unsolved bashings taking place on a weekly basis.

Anti-CSG activists have also criticised the apparent ease with which police can be called upon to protect private mining sites but their apparent lack of availability for beat patrols.

Ms Elliot, who is a former police officer herself, said, ‘Local residents deserve to know why police numbers are in such a sharp decline. But instead Mr Provest is claiming record numbers, which is demonstrably incorrect.

‘It is time that the state government restored policing numbers on the north coast to previous levels. They need to restore the 34 police officers,’ she added.

Ms Elliot made the statement after questions were asked in state parliament on Tuesday about a reduction in the number of operational police officers in the Tweed-Byron region from 198 in February last year to 164 currently.

But a Police Association spokesperson has disputed Labor’s interpretation of the figures, saying the reason for the apparent reduction is a change in the way that highway patrol officers are accounted for.

‘They are highway patrol numbers that were previously counted in the Tweed-Byron Command and have now been moved to the Traffic and Patrol Command,’ Tony King told ABC radio this morning.

Labor’s spokesperson on Byron issues, Amanda Fazio, asked a series of questions of the NSW police minister, Michael Gallacher, in parliament on Tuesday but failed to get a promise from him to restore police numbers.

Ms Fazio asked, ‘In light of recent incidents… in Byron Bay and the Tweed, when will the state government restore the 34 police officers who were removed from the Tweed-Byron local area command in the last year?’

Mr Gallacher responded that the reduced number constituted some officers who were expected to return from long term sick leave and said that the government’s changes to the death and disability scheme would expedite this.

He added that, ‘I suspect that in her question the honourable member is referring [primarily] to the numbers of the Tweed highway patrol officers. I intend to look at that matter as she has requested me to but let me assure members of the House and, more importantly, members of the Tweed-Byron community, that the highway patrol personnel who were there two, three or four years ago are still there today. They are still performing their job but we have given those highway patrol personnel the ability to determine where their expertise needs to be deployed throughout the Tweed-Byron community.’

Ms Fazio then asked when police numbers could be expected to be restored but Mr Gallacher turned the question back on Ms Fazio, talking instead about the record numbers of graduating police who the Liberal-National state government had sent into the regions in 2011.

Ms Fazio raised a point of order on the grounds of relevance but Mr Gallacher continued reminiscing and failed to respond to the question.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Typically addressing the problem rather then preventing it. Reduce 70! alcohol venues to 10 and close the sale of alcohol after 6 or 8pm which may not solve it completely but certainly reduce it significantly. I thought that in Byron we do things differently, oh yes?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the October long weekend -  Friday,...

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night