Job cuts for po­lice staff

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Bran­don Livesay

IT HAS be­come more dif­fi­cult for Gayn­dah and Biggen­den res­i­dents to use their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion.

The sta­tions in both towns lost their two part-time ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cers as part of re­cent cuts to the bud­get by the State Gov­ern­ment.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion re­dun­dan­cies will mean re­duced of­fice hours at the sta­tions and in­creased du­ties for the re­gion’s po­lice of­fi­cers.

Po­lice will now have to cover the ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties which used to be han­dled by ad­min­is­tra­tion staff.

The of­fi­cers will also per­form driv­ers li­cense ser­vices, changes of ad­dress and other ad­min­is­tra- tive tasks as well as main­tain­ing their beat.

And if an in­ci­dent oc­curs dur­ing of­fice hours which re­quires the of­fi­cer-on-duty, the sta­tion will be left unat­tended.

Call­ers are asked to contact the Mary­bor­ough Po­lice or dial 000 in the case of an emer­gency.

The new open­ing hours at the Gayn­dah po­lice sta­tion are Tues­day 8am-noon and Thurs­day noon–4pm.

At Biggen­den, the open­ing hours are Mon­day to Thurs­day morn­ings, but the sta­tion sign states that “due to op­er­a­tional polic­ing re­quire­ments this may not al­ways be pos­si­ble”.

A Queens­land Po­lice Me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tive said a Biggen­den of­fi­cer in charge would be­gin duty this month.

The spokesper­son said the new OIC would be re­view­ing the client ser­vice times “to best meet the needs of the lo­cal community”.

Gayn­dah Po­lice OIC Sergeant Lu­cas Hamp­son en­cour­aged the community to work with the po­lice as the re­duced of­fice hours took ef­fect.

“Op­er­a­tional du­ties do come first, but we will do our best to be here (dur­ing of­fice hours),” Sgt Hamp­son said.

“We will continue to pro­vide a core ser­vice to the community.

“We en­cour­age peo­ple to leave a mes­sage on the an­swer­ing ma­chine if we are not avail­able.”

Sgt Hamp­son said the po­lice were try­ing to get out on the street more of­ten “to give peo­ple that ex­tra face-time”.

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