Bonalbo Police Station redevelopment needs more urgency: Saffin

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin is disappointed by advice from the NSW Government that the Bonalbo Police Station will be redeveloped over the next three financial years, and will keep pushing for a more definite start date.
Photo of old house and police sign at the front

Ms Saffin last month wrote to NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott seeking a timetable for completion of the $1-million project, funding for which was secured by her predecessor Thomas George in a previous budget.

“The station has been closed since mid-2015 due to structural reasons and many Bonalbo constituents approached me wanting to know when the rebuild will occur because it means a police officer will stay based in the town,” she said.

Responding on behalf of Minister Elliott, Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Justice Mark Taylor wrote: “I am pleased to advise that, over the next three financial years, the NSW Police Force will receive a total of $15.9 million for the Regional Small Police Station Program.

“As part of this program, the police station located at Bonalbo will be redeveloped,” Mr Taylor wrote.

Ms Saffin said she believed Bonalbo residents would not be satisfied because the community expectation when the former Member for Lismore made the commitment was that it would take place as soon as possible.

Ms Saffin also had asked Minister Elliott to keep her informed of precise numbers and allocations of extra police in the Richmond, Tweed-Byron and New England police districts. The Government had promised to provide 1500 additional frontline police officers state-wide.

Mr Taylor wrote: “I note you are also requesting additional police resources in the electorate of Lismore, which includes the Richmond and Tweed-Byron Police Districts.

“… Resources are allocated by the Police Commissioner and are based on operational requirements. A range of factors are considered when determining this allocation including crime figures, categories of crime, population and demographics,” Mr Taylor wrote.

“You may be pleased to know that all police positions attached to Police Area Commands and Police Districts are flexible resources available to respond to incidents.”

Media contact: Peter Ellem 0437 303 875