Anger over cop shop chop

12 Jul, 2007 07:00 PM
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REGIONAL communities stunned and angered by the sudden closure of their local police stations have demanded a remedy and answers from the State Government.

One and two-officer police stations at Cranbrook, Dumbleyung, Gascoyne Junction, Menzies, Trayning, and Wickepin are bound for the scrap-heap under a cost-cutting plan announced by the State Government last Friday.

The Ongerup station will also be closed and relocated to Jerramungup, 47km away.

Representatives from Dumbleyung, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup and Wickepin Shires held an emergency meeting on Monday with Wagin MLA Terry Waldron to discuss fighting the cuts.

The meeting¹s spokesperson, Dumbleyung Shire President Gordon Davidson, said it appeared law and order in regional communities was a low priority for the State Government.

Mr Davidson said the group this week sought an urgent meeting with WA Premier Alan Carpenter and Police Minister John Kobelke to demand an explanation about why community safety was being abandoned in regional areas.

³The cut backs have all been very hastily arranged without any consultation with the communities affected,² he said.

³We want assurances from the State Government that they are not abandoning local communities and will work with us through this issue.²

Mr Davidson said the shire representatives were convinced the latest policing cutbacks were only the tip of the iceberg.

³All mid to small-sized communities in WA should be alarmed by what has happened and should be seeking assurances that they won¹t also lose their police,² he said.

³However simple logic suggests that if the State Government can get away with closing down six police stations why would they not make further cut backs?

³This is an issue far wider than just those communities immediately affected.

³If more police resources are required in other areas then the State Government should provide them but not punish other communities.²

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