New $93m city police station on hold

14/01/2009 - 11:24

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The state opposition is calling on the government to be open and honest about its 3 per cent budget cuts as the planned $93 million Northbridge-based police complex is delayed.

The state opposition is calling on the government to be open and honest about its 3 per cent budget cuts as the planned $93 million Northbridge-based police complex is delayed.

Shadow Police Minister Margaret Quirk said the complex was due for completion in mid-2011 but could be put off indefinitely.

The complex's architect, Peter Hunt Architect, told WA Business News it had been instructed not to proceed with the project.

"The minority Liberal Government promoted a strong law and order agenda during the election campaign and gave no indication that core police services and key infrastructure projects were at risk," Ms Quirk said.

"The WA Police Service appears to be in a holding pattern with uncertainty and confusion surrounding the budget cut process."

Ms Quirk said under a Freedom of Information application she had been refused access to documents which detailed recommended budget cuts.

"On behalf of the public, the Opposition has attempted to provide certainty and transparency around the process being used to determine the 3% budget cuts," she said.

"It is disappointing that the Government is not prepared to provide information to the public about such a key area of operations.

"During the election campaign Premier Barnett promoted himself as a champion of transparent, open and accountable Government but it seems nothing could be further from the truth."

Ms Quirk said the continued uncertainty surrounding the budget cuts made it impossible for police to be proactive and plan operational activities for the year ahead.

"Now it seems the police infrastructure budget is also under review," Ms Quirk said.

"It is time for the Police Minister to give some straight answers around this very important process and to fight for key services and infrastructure to be quarantined from budget cuts."

Police Minister Rob Johnson was reported as saying the government had yet to make a decision on the complex.

 

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