The matter I raise is for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The action I seek is that he visit my electorate of Ivanhoe and attend a public meeting with members of the local Heidelberg West community and me to seek the reopening of the Heidelberg West police station by the Baillieu government. I note that some months after I raised an adjournment matter in this house with the Minister for Police and Emergency Services I received a response, on 28 April. I quote from the response of the minister, which states:
- I have sought advice from the chief commissioner, who has assured me that the west Heidelberg station will not close —
I stop quoting there to point out that the Heidelberg West police station was closed in December 2010 and remains closed to this day, 14 September 2011 —
- and the station remains able to be staffed as required.
We in Heidelberg West are not quite sure what that means. As a resident of Heidelberg West these past seven years, and having lived a couple of blocks away from the closed Heidelberg West police station, I am really not sure what the police minister means by that statement. He went on to write:
- The chief commissioner has indicated that the 80 hours per fortnight that were rostered to the west Heidelberg counter inquiries will continue to be used to service the needs of the Banyule community including through local patrols.
That means they will not be used Sin Heidelberg West at the police station.
Where are those 80 hours of funded police activity being used? Not at the Heidelberg West police station, which has been kept closed since December last year by the Baillieu government.
I say to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services that if he cannot find Heidelberg West or the Ivanhoe electorate, it is to be found at map 32 in Melway. He is welcome to come out to Heidelberg West. He likes to spend his time up in the bush, but he should come down to Melbourne and spend some time in Heidelberg West talking to local people about why their police station has been closed by this government and why the government does not care about law and order and community safety in Heidelberg West. This is an area I have lived in for seven years and represented as a local councillor and where I have been voted for and supported many times by the local community. That community wants to know why this government does not support opening the police station in Heidelberg West.
That is what the community wants to know from this police minister, who has nothing to say and has done nothing by way of advocacy for maintaining police services in Heidelberg West. Why does the minister not support opening the Heidelberg West police station and providing safety to the community of Heidelberg West? That is what we want to know from this police minister, who spends so much time in the bush that he does not give a stuff about metropolitan Melbourne and Heidelberg West. We expect better, and we will continue to fight to open our police station in Heidelberg West.