Letter to the editor | Police mergers concerns

Letter to Member for Dubbo Troy Grant

The Mudgee Chamber of Commerce wish to express our concern at the reported merger of our Police Local Area Command with Dubbo (Orana).

We understand that there is the possibility of improved efficiencies however we are particularly concerned with the direct impact this merger will have on our community.

We had the benefit of having two officers from the Police Association of NSW address our meeting on Monday, October 9 to provide an overview of the proposal to date. They were positive about the most recent proposals that would see our Superintendent, Crime Manager and Administration Manager positions replaced with an additional two general duties officers.

We note however, that they were unable to confirm that this will be adopted or simply a consideration.

Currently, the Mudgee Region enjoys one of the lowest recorded crime rates in the state, thanks largely to the good work of our police. As such, our community benefits in many additional ways from a more relaxed lifestyle, attraction of new residents, to reduced insurance premiums.

This proposed merger will mean that we will be incorporated into the Orana LAC, which carries one of the worst crime statistics in NSW. Despite assurances that it is the intention to report crime statistics by LGA’s the existing reporting methods are well entrenched, our inclusion in the Orana LAC will have a detrimental effect on the Mudgee region, the very least of which will be higher insurance premiums at a time when the general costs of living are increasing.

The officers assured us that should the existing proposal be implemented, we would benefit from other two general duties officers. We are very concerned about the long term prospects of policing in our town.

Mudgee is a thriving regional centre that will require additional police resources as we grow (particularly if we are to maintain existing low crime rates). If our Superintendent is based in Dubbo, it is difficult to accept that future resources will be allocated to Mudgee when Dubbo and surrounding towns are already under resources and suffer from high crime rates.

Could you please explain what assurances will be put in place so that Mudgee will not be worse off under these proposed changes, both now and into the future. We appreciate what you have achieved as our Member of Parliament and hope that you give due consideration to our concerns in this matter. 

Greg Dowker

President – Mudgee Chamber of Commerce