The revelation yesterday by the local branch of the Police Association that police numbers in Ballina are just the same as they were 30 years ago has rocked Labor candidate for Ballina Asren Pugh.
‘We have the same number of police in the community as we had 30 years ago despite a massive increase in population. This is simply outrageous. The National Party have held the seat of Ballina for almost all of those 30 years and they have done nothing to ensure the community is kept safe,’ said Mr Pugh.
The local branch chair of the Police Association David Longfield is reported to have said that the Ballina police station is often left with only two officers and a single patrol car during night shifts. These officers have to cover an area as far away as Tabbimoble.
‘I am calling on the NSW Government and the National Party to prioritise our community and bring more police to the Ballina Shire. We are about to overtake Lismore in terms of population and it is essential that we have the community services and infrastructure to support that population.
‘The National Party are spending $2.3 billion on knocking down and rebuilding stadiums in Sydney. This is money that could be used to provide community services, like more police for Ballina.’