Rural city misses on funds for CCTV
A BID to install closed circuit television (CCTV) security cameras in Wangaratta’s CBD has missed out because other regional areas were deemed a higher risk of public safety.
Wangaratta council made an application earlier this year to the State Government’s Public Safety Infrastructure Fund for Community Crime Prevention which offered grants from $20,000 to $250,000.
Council moved a motion to trial a CCTV camera at the corner of Murphy and Reid streets two years ago, but the trial never began.
Then council made a submission to seek funding for five CCTV cameras to be spread around the CBD to enhance public safety.
One of the key areas of concern in the past has been the pub strip on Murphy Street with late night fighting between people in the vicin- ity of the main intersection.
“We were unsuccessful with the application and with the new term of government there are currently no funding streams we can reapply for,” council director - community wellbeing Jaime Chubb said.
“It was deemed that other areas in the state had a greater need for CCTV cameras.”
One of those regional areas to receive funding for CCTV cameras in 2018/19 was Broadford ($112,000), with Shepparton and Bendigo also successful in previous years.
Council’s community wellbeing department says it is focusing its energy on other areas but this doesn’t mean it will not reapply for the cameras in the future.
“Projects such as the suicide response network to build resilience in our community, the place making project that aims to improve rural town infrastructure, the railway precinct and the aquatic facilities at the Barr Reserve are all on our agenda,” Ms Chubb said.
Cr Ken Clarke noted that the trial never commenced due to privacy laws around the recording of personal information in a public place and the private ownership of the previously proposed trial camera.
GOOD INTENTIONS: Cr Ken Clarke and Northeast Security Services managing director Peter Vaughan have been drivers of the CCTV cameras idea.