Cam­eras set to watch over Air­lie Beach CBD

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Rory Sheav­ils

THE Air­lie Beach main street and la­goon are set to be­come a safer place thanks to more than $725,000 in fed­eral fund­ing.

The move will see 84 high­def­i­ni­tion CCTV cam­eras in­stalled in strate­gic lo­ca­tions around town, with Whit­sun­day Po­lice able to keep an eye on things from their sta­tion.

Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Michael Keenan vis­ited the re­gion on Fri­day to make the an­nounce­ment.

“We know that CCTV is very use­ful in­fra­struc­ture to de­ter crime,” he said.

“It can de­ter peo­ple from do­ing the wrong thing in the first place when they know they are be­ing watched on CCTV, but it also helps po­lice to do their job if some­one ac­tu­ally has com­mit­ted a crime.”

Once in­stalled, 52 cam­eras will keep watch on the main street, while 32 will cover the la­goon area.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen gave an ex­am­ple of a re­cent in­ci­dent in which CCTV could have been vi­tal.

“Last month we had a tourist un­for­tu­nately stabbed in the face,” he said.

“We’ve had calls from po­lice and from coun­cil over a long time for any level of gov­ern­ment to act.”

Mr Keenan said the high num­ber of tourists in Air­lie Beach had made it a pri­or­ity area.

“Ob­vi­ously tourism is a the pri­mary eco­nomic driver for this area,” he said.

“De­ploy­ing this CCTV does give peo­ple a sense of safety and of course it does stop them be­ing vic­tims of the sorts of be­hav­iours and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour that we don’t want to see.”

The fund­ing comes un­der the Safer Streets Pro­gramme.

BIG BROTHER: Me­dia gather around Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Michael Keenan and Daw­son MP Ge­orge Chris­tensen as they an­nounce fund­ing for 84 CCTV cam­eras in Air­lie Beach.

Photo: Sharon Small­wood

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