Policy Statement: 24/7 Policing in Rockingham
I have no doubt that the residents of Armadale, Cockburn and Ellenbrook are over the moon to learn that a McGowan government will keep their local police stations open 24/7, just as those in Belmont, Forrestfield and Canning Vale will be pleased to know that their local stations will remain open until 7pm. What about Rockingham though?
At community forum after community forum in recent years, local Rockingham residents have pushed for longer opening hours, and ideally for a 24/7 police presence in our area. And it's all well and good for Mr McGowan to note that Armadale is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia - any local resident will tell you that we have THE fastest growing suburb, Baldivis, right next door to us. They don't even HAVE a police station of their own as yet, but instead rely on the Rockingham and Kwinana stations, which each close at 4pm on week days, and don't open at all at the weekends.
Why won't Mark McGowan fight for OUR right to 24/7 policing? Could it be that there are seats close by the stations he has announced - Darling Downs, near Armadale; Jandakot, right next to Cockburn; and Swan Hills, which takes in Ellenbrook and its surrounds - which Labor hope to take from the Liberals in March? Think that's just a coincidence? Ok then, try Belmont - a vulnerable Liberal seat (1.0% swing required); or Forresfield - a vulnerable Liberal seat (2.2% swing required). And Canning Vale? Yep, you guessed it ... after the 2015 redistribution it too sits in Jandakot, which is firmly in Labor's sights. Taking that into account, could this, in fact, just a great big case of pork barreling - promising government funds to a particular area in the hope that it will swing the vote?
I don't begrudge the good people of Armadale, Cockburn or Ellenbrook additional police resources - I'm sure they deserve them. So do their neighbours in Belmont, Forrestfield and Canning Vale. But, like Mr McGowan, I live in Rockingham. Perhaps unlike him, I know how frustrated locals are that they can't access their local police station at convenient (and often pressingly necessary) hours. And so, unlike Mr McGowan, I am committed to delivering 24/7 policing to the electorate in which I'm standing. I am focused 100% on the people of Rockingham, the services they need and deserve, and what I can do to make those a reality. It's just a shame that our sitting MLA can't say the same thing.
I'm willing to step forward in support of my local community - why won't Mr McGowan?