Heidelberg Police Station
I am very pleased to raise a matter for the Minister for Police. I would like to invite the Minister for Police to visit the Heidelberg police station and meet with my local constituents. When the member for Mulgrave was Leader of the Opposition he launched our policy for police custody officers at Heidelberg courts and Heidelberg police station. There was a great launch held for that policy, which was brought to fruition under the Andrews government and which has freed up police at Heidelberg police station. We have seen those custody officers get on board.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, the member for Niddrie, and I have had the opportunity to talk to senior sergeants at Heidelberg. Extra police are now freed up to get out on the streets, into vans and into the community and not have to babysit prisoners in the watch house. That is now a task for police custody officers. I give my thanks to those people for the work they are doing. There are great job opportunities for them to contribute to providing community service, and I am really pleased about that.
I would be very pleased to see the Minister for Police visit the Heidelberg police complex. The minister at the table, the Attorney‑General, has invested significant funds in the redevelopment of the Heidelberg court complex where the Heidelberg police station is based, and we look forward to the Minister for Police coming out very soon. This is in stark contrast to the former leader of the National Party and former Minister for Emergency Services, who under the previous government shut down West Heidelberg police station. Members of the previous government would not have been able to find West Heidelberg — they had never been there — but they were pretty quick to shut down the West Heidelberg police station. They closed it down and showed nothing but disrespect for the people of West Heidelberg.
In short it is only the Andrews Labor government that is standing up for the people of West Heidelberg and Heidelberg. I look forward to the member for Bellarine, the Minister for Police, coming out to my electorate of Ivanhoe to talk to the community and our local police representatives about the work they are doing right across the Banyule local government area. It is no surprise that the government has provided something like $26.2 million to expedite 406 new police, which was announced in the 2016–17 Victorian budget following the detailed discussion with the Chief Commissioner of Police, Graham Ashton.
I know that Ivanhoe would be very pleased to host the Minister for Police, and not only because we launched the policy for police custody officers there, which was affirmed by people at the ballot box who put us into government. We have delivered on that commitment, which has meant more police on the streets in Heidelberg. We look forward to talking about that great work in Heidelberg with the Minister for Police very soon.