Premier visits Ipswich to overview Comms centre dispute
A FORMER hotspot for crime, Ipswich is now one of the safest places to live in Queensland.
Now it's in Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's hands to ensure it stays that way.
The future of the Ipswich communications centre has been uncertain after plans to relocate the facility to Brisbane were announced earlier this month.
In a bid to sway the State Government from their decision, Ms Palaszczuk was invited to tour the Yamanto-based comms centre and see first-hand why it shouldn't budge.
The Premier arrived on Saturday afternoon, flanked by Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller and Police Union president Ian Leavers.
"Local knowledge saves local lives," Mr Leavers said in his pitch to keep the facility in Ipswich.
"I was policing in Ipswich when it was a bloodbath and not a safe place.
"Things have now changed since then and Ipswich has become one of the safest cities in Australia."
Mr Leavers said the comms centre had a long-standing working partnership with the council's 'Safe City' infrastructure which attributed to getting the crime rate down.
"Those local partnerships are imperative...if the comms centre moves, they will be destroyed."
After touring the comms centre and speaking with staff there, the Premier also visited the Safe City control room, which monitors 240 cameras throughout the city.
Ms Palaszczuk said she was impressed with the work that was being done across both facilities.
The Premier said the tour and consultations had been "very constructive" and put the matter in "a better perspective".
The driving force behind the move has been QPS' desire to centralise communications in order to eliminate the older computer systems used in Ipswich and make full use of its newer computer-aided dispatch technology.
Ms Palaszczuk said her next step would involve meeting with the Police Service to discuss the issue further.
"I think it's important when you are making decisions you think of the people involved first and foremost," she said.
"If the technology can be upgraded, I think things might be quite positive."
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale, who led the tour of 'Safe City', said he hoped the right decision would be made.
"For me, it's a no brainer," he said.
"What we have here in Ipswich are resources for the police and a safe community.
"It's a great model and now that the Premier has seen it, I'm sure she'll be looking at ways to copy it across Queensland."
Both Cr Pisasale and Mr Leavers said they appreciated the Premier and the Police Minister coming out and listening to the concerns of the Ipswich community.
"At the end of the day, we have to do what's right," Cr Pisasale said. "The most important thing is the safety of Ipswich."