The Public Service Association fears many regional areas will be stripped of their Local Area Commands under the government’s planned restructure of NSW Police.
While the government is yet to announce details of what it calls its “re-engineering project”, the PSA believes that 11 regional LACs will be amalgamated into seven.
No LACs have been identified, but PSA acting general secretary Troy Wright said he would be keeping a close watch on the Far South Coast LAC which covers a big area and where police resources are already stretched.
The Far South Coast LAC is based in Batemans Bay and covers police stations at Bega, Bemboka, Bermagui, Bodalla, Candelo, Cobargo, Eden, Merimbula, Moruya, Narooma and Tathra.
Batemans Bay is the only station that is open 24 hours a day.
Police Minister Troy Grant has stated that police officer numbers would not be cut, but the PSA is concerned that even if that is the case, civilian support staff may be shed.
“We are extremely concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are properly equipped to be able to undertake the full range of their duties on behalf of their local communities,” Mr Wright said.
Civilian workers tipped to be affected including counter staff at police stations and community liaison officers, as well as forensic and intelligence analysts.
“The minister is saying this ‘re-engineering’ project’, which is being touted as the biggest shake-up in 20 years, is going to be greatest thing since sliced bread,” Mr Wright said.
“Job cuts in regional areas mean less money going into the local community, families being forced to move elsewhere, taking their spending money with them and removing their kids from local schools.
“Every job in the bush feeds into six others from the local supermarket to car dealers,” he said. ‘It’s the ripple effect and in the end the community is the big loser.”
Call it re-engineering, call it what you like, I’m yet to see any restructure that doesn’t result in a loss of jobs or services