Ru­ral city misses on funds for CCTV

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY STEVE KELLY [email protected] ne­me­

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.

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