CARR GOVERNMENT STANDS CONDEMNED IN THE FIGHT AGAINST RURAL CRIME

Carr Government Stands Condemned in the Fight against Rural Crime

CARR GOVERNMENT STANDS CONDEMNED IN THE FIGHT AGAINST RURAL CRIME

7 August 2001

NSW National Party spokesman for stock theft and rural crime, Thomas George, today called on the Carr Labor Government to implement policies to counter rural crime as a matter of urgency.

Mr George condemned the Carr Government for failing to address the recommendations of the Rural Crime Working Party and for its blatant lack of action in the fight against rural crime, and called on the Carr Government to take immediate action to counter rural crime and stock theft.

"The Rural Crime Working Party delivered its recommendations for changes to legislation and policy to the Carr Government in October 2000," Mr George said.

"The Carr Government's only response to the recommendations of the Working Party was the con-job of the so-called creation of 32 Rural Crime Investigators.

"The Rural Crime Investigators are not additional officers and are simply a new title and extra duties for already stretched rural police commands."

Mr George said the NSW National Party made a submission to the Working Party and that he had toured NSW and met with producers, Rural Lands Protection Boards, carriers, police, local government, stock and station agents and other interested parties.

"The National Party submission included the need for greater police powers to investigate suspected stock theft in transit and on properties, greater promotion and use of the police assistance line, on the spot fines for theft and magistrates specialising in rural crime."

Mr George said stock theft and rural crime had reached unacceptable levels as a result of high stock prices and the inaction of the Carr Government.

"The problem of rural crime has become so bad that the Coonabarabran police have been forced to establish their own stock transport team to detect stock theft suspects within the Mudgee area local command.

"I applaud the initiative of the Coonabarabran police to form their own squad to tackle rural crime, but this development highlights the failure of the Police Minister, Paul Whelan, to implement the appropriate policies and to allocate sufficient resources to combat rural crime and stock theft state-wide.

"The National Party has consistently called for the restoration of the NSW Stock Squad to full operating capacity. The restoration of the Stock Squad would be far more effective than individual police commands such as Coonabarabran being left with no choice other than to develop their own squads."

Mr George said the Carr Government had failed in its duty to protect residents of rural and regional NSW from rural crime and stock theft.

"The Carr Government's continued failure to adequately address the issue of rural crime and stock theft in NSW is further evidence of its contempt for rural and regional NSW.

"I call on Mr Carr and Mr Whelan to take immediate action to counter rural crime and stock theft in NSW," Mr George said.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

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