Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

Glenelg Police Station

A speech Duncan made in Parliament on 8 March 2016:

There is a web page on the South Australia Police website titled Finding Your Local Police Station. Well, let me tell you, that is going to get harder and harder under this government. The Glenelg Police Station is a vital facility in Glenelg. When I started as the member for Morphett in 2002 we had a patrol base down there, and I remember that on my first electorate flyer introducing me was a photograph with about six or seven police cars behind me at that Glenelg Police Station.

 

Now, I admit that it was the Liberal government that moved that patrol base from there to the Sussex Street shopfront, but let me say that, while we do not have the patrol base anymore, the police station is an absolutely vital part of the Glenelg business district, and I will give you some reasons why. Glenelg is one of the two declared tourist zones in South Australia, and I am very proud to say that, from my office in Byron Street, I have 106 restaurants and cafes within walking distance of my office and try to do them all justice.

Glenelg North is, I think, one of the most densely populated parts of South Australia. Depending on the figures you look at, about one million visitors a year come down to Glenelg. What is the government proposing to do by cutting police budgets, which it has done for many years now? It is getting harder and harder for police to do their job, forcing the police into a position where they are having to reduce services.

It is this government's and it is this minister's responsibility. John Hill said it. He said, 'The buck stops with me' when he was health minister. Well, let me tell every minister in here that they are accountable. There is ministerial accountability, and the buck stops with the police minister. He may be in the other place, but the buck stops with him.

With respect to my electorate of Morphett and Glenelg, I will not rest until we get the services we deserve down there and have those services being maintained. We will not accept a reduction in police attendance and police opening hours down there. The website says 7.30 till 10pm seven days a week. I understand it is 8.30am until 10pm seven days a week. What do they want to do? They want to change it to nine till five, five days a week.

Look, I will be a conciliatory person here. You could go nine to five during the winter time seven days a week because it is cooler down there, and you might want to keep extended hours on the weekend, but anything less than that is completely unacceptable. It is not acceptable at all, and I proved that. I distributed petition forms around my electorate on Friday last to the pubs, the clubs and to all the businesses on Jetty Road, and let me tell you, they are already phoning me to get more sheets. I gave them probably half a dozen sheets each. They are phoning me to get more sheets to have more petitions signed to have this government realise what it is doing, the mistake it is making, in reducing the hours of the Glenelg Police Station.

Originally the Sussex Street police station was set up, and, again, there was a real issue. The police who were there were considered 'no offender contact'. They were just behind the counter. I understand that they were either women police officers who were pregnant or other police officers who were on WorkCover or on restricted duties—'no offender contact'.

Well, that was completely unsatisfactory. I lobbied hard with the then police minister to make sure that we had police officers who were fit to get out and about if they were needed from behind those counters down there. The police officers who are down there now are just not the police officers at the Glenelg Police Station: they are part of the community, they go out on the beat, they go up and down the street, they know the people, they know the businesses and the businesses know them. They have terrific relationships there.

We will not accept anything less than what we have got now. We want police down there, we need police down there. The people of Glenelg and the visitors who come down there deserve to have some point of contact. The Find Your Police Station website says that you can go in and do crash reports, get crime prevention advice, crime reports, firearms licence and registrations, freedom of information requests, intervention orders, lost property, missing person reports, police record checks, national police certificates, suspicious behaviour reports, vehicle defects and complaints or compliments about a police service.

Let me tell you that one of the things they would be getting most is compliments about police service because they are doing an exceptional job. It is a very busy station, to the point where my office does a roster of justices of the peace because the police station is very busy, not just with receiving compliments but all these other things. There is nothing worse than what this government wants to do, and that is reduce services again to the people of Morphett, the people of Glenelg and the visitors who come down there. It is completely unacceptable, and I will not stop until they realise the error of their ways.

 

Petitions to keep the Glenelg Police Station opening hours as they currently are can be signed in my office and in many of the shops along Jetty Road, Glenelg.  If you would like a copy posted to you please contact me on 8294 6711.

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