Mr HODGETT (Croydon) — I rise to draw the attention of the house to the Andrews government’s failure to properly fund local police in my electorate of Croydon. The two police stations that service my electorate are the Croydon police complex and the Mooroolbark police station. Both are advertised on the Victoria Police website as 24-hour stations, yet the reality is that Mooroolbark station is permanently closed at night.
The policemen and women who serve the community in my electorate do a terrific job and are highly professional, yet the Premier is making their job harder and our community less safe with his cuts to frontline police numbers and the closure of police stations like Mooroolbark. Residents fleeing danger who would expect to receive safety and refuge inside the Mooroolbark police station cannot enter the building when it is closed at night. They cannot enter the building to speak to an officer and are forced to seek help elsewhere. How can a police station be billed as being open 24 hours if the doors are shut and those seeking assistance are left outside?
The Premier has lost control of law and order in this state, and Victorians are less safe under his government. The independent Crime Statistics Agency reports that in Yarra Ranges crime has increased a whopping 25 per cent. Despite this the Premier continues to ignore the safety of residents in my electorate, with not a single extra police officer funded for Mooroolbark in the recent budget. I again call on the Premier to urgently allocate extra police resources to my electorate by reopening the Mooroolbark police station at night so that local police are fully supported in their jobs and my electorate is kept safe.