Response isn't good enough: Fraser

COFFS Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has accused Minister for Police Michael Daley of ‘palming-off' concerns about the closure of Sawtell Police Station.

Mr Fraser received a reply from the Minister for Police, Michael Daley MP, to a petition he presented to State Parliament objecting to the temporary closure of the Sawtell Police Station.

“As far as I am concerned the response is not good enough,” Mr Fraser said. “The petition was signed by around 1000 concerned residents and I believe the police deserve more support than what they have been given by the Minister.”

He said the response advises that the Sawtell Police Station was temporarily closed on April 18 due to staffing allocations and that police who were attached to the Sawtell Police Station are now attached to Coffs Harbour.

It further states that “the Sawtell community continues to receive an appropriate policing response with coverage being provided by police from Coffs Harbour”.

“It takes, at the very best, at least 20 minutes to get to Sawtell from Coffs Harbour and I hate to think what might happen if an emergency occurred that needed an urgent police presence,” Mr Fraser added.

“I believe it is poor judgement on behalf of the Minister to try to blame local management when it is obvious that the available police numbers in Coffs Harbour do not meet the needs of the community or the police officers' own needs.

“Stress levels are extremely high in the Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command and palm-offs by the Minister are not good enough.”

Mr Fraser said he will continue to closely monitor this matter to ensure that no moves are taken to permanently close the Sawtell Police Station and continue to press for extra police in Coffs Harbour.

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