Sale is in urgent need of a new police station, Member for Gippsland South and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today, claiming that the 34-year-old building is too small for current staffing levels and the cells are unsafe for both police officers and prisoners.
Mr Ryan, the Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Services, said the Sale police station, built in 1976, is no longer suitable to house a major regional 24-hour police station.
“Sale has the oldest 24 hour police station in the region and one of the oldest in the state,” Mr Ryan said.
“It is overcrowded, out-dated and must be replaced as a matter of urgency.”
Mr Ryan said there were 63 staff members working at the station, yet the building itself was only designed to house 41 staff members.
“There is simply not enough space in the current building for staff to be able to carry out their basic tasks,” Mr Ryan said.
“Police officers are forced to share desks and work stations which pose significant security risks, not to mention disruption for staff members who are forced to constantly move from desk to desk.
“Sale deserves a police station that can accommodate the current staffing levels as well as any future increases.
“Premier John Brumby and his Police Minister Bob Cameron need to make the Sale police station an urgent priority and fully fund the construction of an adequate up-to-date facility.”
Mr Ryan said the government must show further urgency in funding this project with the current cells failing to meet basic human rights requirements.
“Anyone who has seen the cells at Sale would know they are far from ideal. They pose a significant risk to those being held and also to police officers, which is simply unacceptable,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the Sale police station had been on a State Government list for replacement for sometime, but had continually missed out on funding.
“The time has come for this government to deliver. Sale has been serviced by this police station for 34 years, but it is long past its use-by-date,” Mr Ryan said.
The Nationals Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester endorsed the call for action by Mr Ryan.
“There is no question that the current police facilities have had their day. Police officers and staff members deserve better as does the general public who are accessing the building.”