The state government, under pressure from the Greens, has revealed the cost of using police to provide security at Lock the Gate protests at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek – but only in part.
However some simple calculations suggest the real cost was somewhere close to $200,000.
In February, Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham asked NSW police minister Michael Gallacher for the cost to the taxpayer of the provision of the service.
The question was taken on notice and the response was only revealed in parliament early this month. And even then it was only partially answered.
Mr Buckingham asked for the total cost of the service, including the cost of the riot squad and the total resources committed in terms of personnel and hours.
He also asked whether there had been any effort to recoup costs from Metgasco and whether there had been ‘any contact with or requests from the minister for resources and energy’ with relation to the project.
Minister Gallacher responded that the protection provided cost $81,000 (not including salaries).
He added that ‘an estimated 159 officers worked approximately 3,234 hours during these three operations’.
Based on the salaries of probationary constables and senior constables published on the NSW Police website, if all of the police on duty were within these two salary bands the total cost would have been approximately $116,000.
Added to this, the total comes closer to $200,000 than $100,000.