The Andrews Government has refused to commit to providing Protective Services Officers (PSOs) to the Morwell train station, despite growing concerns about community safety in the Latrobe Valley.
The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, called on the Andrews Government to urgently allocate PSOs to Morwell in Parliament last month, citing a 6.5% rise in criminal incidents in the town and an influx of calls from residents who have witnessed or experienced anti-social behaviour around the station and bus terminal.
Mr Cameron demanded the Latrobe Valley receive the same treatment as metropolitan Melbourne, where all 212 train stations are resourced with PSOs while just four train stations in the whole of regional Victoria have a dedicated PSO presence.
“The Minister for Police has failed to understand the critical need for more resources in Morwell by suggesting the PSOs stationed at Traralgon have the ‘opportunity to travel to other railway stations’,” Mr Cameron said.
“This is simply not good enough. The suggestion that a small contingent of PSOs at Traralgon – who may or may not ‘choose’ to travel elsewhere – should be responsible for patrolling all the stations across the Valley is ludicrous and shows how out of touch the Andrews Government is with the needs of regional Victorians.
“Our police do a terrific job in keeping our communities safe, but they cannot always attend at the time an incident occurs due to resourcing. The presence of PSOs at stations is a tried and tested method of deterring anti-social behaviour and frees up police to attend incidents elsewhere.
“If it’s good enough for metropolitan Melbourne to have every one of its 212 stations patrolled by PSOs, then this must be extended this to every station in the Latrobe Valley and indeed regional Victoria.
“The Andrews Government has shown time and time again its contempt for regional Victorians, and this ill-informed and flippant response to a matter of such critical importance is shameful.
“I am again calling on the Minister for Police to urgently allocate PSOs to the Morwell train station.”