Police closure row widens

26 Jul, 2007 07:00 PM
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LIBERAL Party leader Paul Omodei has pledged to reopen country police stations if his party wins the next state election.

Mr Omodei made the announcement in Cranbrook last Friday at the community rally against the recent closure of several police stations in country towns.

He urged the State Government not to sell the police station land because a Liberal government would reopen the stations.

³The State Government has failed miserably in recruiting police officers and the shortage of numbers was putting more pressure on the serving officers,² Mr Omodei said.

³John Kobelke and Eric Ripper have continually adopted an arrogant stance about their failure to produce adequate police officers but their attitude is wreaking havoc on the morale of the existing officers.

³With the closure of country police stations, these ministers are going to further debase the morale and safety of people in country WA.²

Two rallies were held on Friday, at Cranbrook and another at Dumbleyung.

The protests took the form of slow-moving processions with Cranbrook residents using the popular Albany Highway to show their disappointment in the decision, while Dumbleyung Shire residents had two convoys, one travelling east on the Collie-Lake King Road, and the other heading west.

There were 50 vehicles participating at Cranbrook and 70 at Dumbleyung.

Mr Omodei said the State Government had little trouble attracting 20,000 more public servants to sit behind desks but a lack of forward planning and abysmal management meant that police resources were now stretched to the limit.

³The State Government cannot meet its responsibilities because it cannot manage the state,² he said.

³We have a $2 billion budget surplus and they still don¹t get it right.²

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