Minister invited to see Benalla police station blues
10 February 2016
Wednesday 10 February 2016
Benalla police are praying for more than $11 million to rebuild the town’s 24-hour police station when the State Budget is handed down later this year.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan made the case for the project in Parliament this evening.
“I have invited Acting Police Minister Robin Scott to inspect the station before the May Budget is finalised,” Ms Ryan said.
“Victoria Police put forward a bid of $11 million to rebuild the station in last year’s State Budget but it was knocked back by the Andrews Government.
“I am hopeful that if a senior member of the Andrews Government actually takes the time to see the station, they will realise it presents safety risks which cannot be ignored,” Ms Ryan said.
Benalla’s police station was built in 1956 and is now the oldest 24 hour police station in Victoria.
“The building has become a serious occupational health and safety issue. It is riddled with asbestos and mould; it doesn’t have sprinklers or fire alarms and walls are cracking throughout the complex,” Ms Ryan said.
“Police officers are undertaking maintenance jobs around the building just to keep the building in working order.
“Facilities for female officers and staff are also totally inadequate,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan extended the invitation following a visit from Shadow Police Minister Ed O’Donohue last week who met with local police to discuss their needs.
“The Benalla police station was one of five, along with Echuca and Sale, singled out by the Police Association three years ago as requiring an upgrade,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Coalition built new stations at both Echuca and Sale and was pushing ahead with plans to redevelop Benalla’s police station.
“It is disappointing we didn’t get a chance to finish that work but there is an opportunity now for the Andrews Government to follow through and prove to our community that they are willing to govern for all Victorians, not just those living in Melbourne,” Ms Ryan said.