Law and Order

Published on Friday, 18 June 2021 at 2:46:00 PM

There is no doubt that the biggest issue on the minds of local residents is law and order, and that was reinforced this week during a visit to Broome. A community survey in Broome had one outlier, and that was law and order, with all the various other issues in a totally different category and nowhere near as important as law and order. I believe the same applies in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and it is because of that that I was part of a deputation recently to meet government leaders in Perth.

The delegation was led by Coolgardie Shire President and GVROC Chair, Mal Cullen, and we were joined by Laverton Shire President Patrick Hill. We met with the Director General of Department of Communities, Mike Rowe, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, John Carey and Director General of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Ralph Addis, and Commissioner for Police, Chris Dawson. It was a fruitful visit, but we will only know in coming months if we achieve the outcome we were aiming for, and that is less antisocial behaviour and problems on our streets.

Talking to other LG leaders around the state, it is clear law and order is the number one issue in every town, and there’s a feeling that a new approach is needed to this vexing problem. Talking to the various departments, the delegation pointed out that the Goldfields needs a higher regional allowance so that various departments such as police, the hospital and education can attract and retain staff. The regional allowance in the north of the state is a strong financial incentive that the Goldfields can’t match, and we are hopeful that the government can have a review of the regional allowances across all departments, so all public services benefit, and thus stabilize the workforce in those areas in the Goldfields.

The allowance should also be higher for towns like Leonora and Laverton where many of the services are DIDO from KB, which means an inferior service to one that would be provided as a permanent services, particularly in areas covered by the Department of Communities.

Whilst individual regional leaders can’t publicly say so, they do quietly admit that they are always struggling to attract and retain their full complement, which means that those who are working in the Goldfields are overworking and under stress. The meeting with the police commissioner coincided with the appointment of assistant commissioner Darryl Gaunt, who was the previous regional Superintendent for the Goldfields Esperance region, and did an excellent job. The region is well served, but a small increase in their allowances, they would appreciate that and the numbers would stabilize, and the retention of the public workforce would be stabilized.

Many people, when they are thinking of law and order, the first thing you think of more police, and while many Commissioners have said you can’t have a policeman on every corner, and the best solution is to prevent crime and divert behavior from that lifestyle before it happens.

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