Fed­eral po­lice ex­o­dus: La­bor

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - DAVID KILLICK

THE num­ber of Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice of­fi­cers sta­tioned in Tas­ma­nia has been cut by 85 per cent in the past four years, the fed­eral La­bor Party says.

There were 32 AFP per­son­nel in the state in 2013, but just five now, La­bor’s jus­tice spokes­woman Clare O’Neil said.

The AFP’s de­ci­sion to re­move of­fi­cers from Ho­bart Air­port in 2015 has been con­tro­ver­sial and there have been calls for them to be re­in­stated in the wake of an al­leged plot to blow up an air­craft de­part­ing Syd­ney Air­port in July.

Se­cu­rity at ma­jor air­ports was stepped up in the wake of the in­ci­dent.

The State Gov­ern­ment has pressed Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull to bring back fed­eral po­lice at the Ho­bart air­port.

Ms O’Neil said the num­ber of of­fi­cers had fallen in Tas­ma­nia as the AFP’s over­all strength had been in­creased by 10 per cent na­tion­wide in the past decade.

She said that in ad­di­tion to se­cur­ing the air­port, the AFP also had re­spon­si­bil­ity for other crimes.

“The AFP has re­spon­si­bil­ity for many se­ri­ous crimes such as drug of­fences, child pro­tec­tion crimes, hu­man traf­fick­ing, fraud and or­gan­ised crime.

“It is dif­fi­cult to know how many se­ri­ous crimes like these are now go­ing un­de­tected be­cause of the huge cut to Tas­ma­nia’s AFP pres­ence.

“The drop is shock­ing. Tas-

“Racewear is all about ele­gance and find­ing fun ways to in­ject your own flair and per­son­al­ity into your look.”

Ms Hard­ing will launch the an­nual Myer Spring Fash­ion lunch on Wed­nes­day. ma­ni­ans have the same right to feel safe as any other Aus­tralian,” she said.

Com­mon­wealth Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Keenan said the La­bor Party’s claims on AFP num­bers in Tas­ma­nia were mis­lead­ing.

“As the La­bor Party would know, Tas­ma­nia Po­lice are cur­rently re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing polic­ing ser­vices at Ho­bart air­port, fol­low­ing as­sess­ments and ad­vice from our se­cu­rity agen­cies,” a spokesman for Mr Keenan said. “Should Ho­bart air­port’s risk profile change, a re­view of the se­cu­rity set­tings will be un­der­taken.

“The AFP con­tin­ues to have an op­er­a­tional pres­ence in Tas­ma­nia and works closely with Tas­ma­nia Po­lice on a range of polic­ing mat­ters.”

Franklin La­bor MHR Julie Collins called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to “start stand­ing up for our state”.

“It’s just not good enough that the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment is con­tin­u­ing to ig­nore Tas­ma­nia and Tas­ma­ni­ans,” she said.

SAFETY IS­SUE: The Mer­cury re­ports last month on the cam­paign to re­turn the AFP.

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