State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle, Shadow Minister for Police Dan Purdie and LNP Candidate for Caloundra Stuart Coward today announced an LNP Government would commit $1.8m to establish a satellite Water Police base in Caloundra during its first term in Government.
“Presently there are just four Water Police Officers that patrol an area stretching from Tin Can Bay down to north of Redcliffe and all the way inland to Somerset Dam,” State Member for Ninderry and Shadow Minister for Police Dan Purdie said.
“Queensland Police Services have wide reaching powers including speed and drink driving on the water, but it’s an enormous area to cover for the two teams of two officers. This is another example of how police officer numbers and resources have not grown with the population and it puts areas like Caloundra and the Pumicestone Passage at risk.”
State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said that population growth on the Sunshine Coast, particularly in Aura and Palmview, meant Caloundra beaches and the Pumicestone Passage would become a magnet for tourism, even more so than at present.
“There have been calls for many years to better police jet skis, high powered boats and people who abuse the Passage and we are now taking the step of an LNP Government committing $1.8m to establish the satellite Water Police base in Caloundra,” Mr McArdle said.
“This will mean locating appropriate land, establishing the infrastructure and resources, and deploying officers. The first phase will see officers based here during school holidays and attend on a frequent but non-advertised basis.”
Owner of local business Bill’s Boat Hire, Kerrie Chandler spends up to 300 days per year on the Passage and she welcomed the announcement for an increased police presence in the area.
“It would create more safety on the Passage because you do get rogue people in high powered vessels who tear through here without any regard or consideration for swimmers, families and people using non-powered crafts,” Mrs Chandler said.
“As a business owner it would mean I could feel more confident in my boat hire business with inexperienced users driving on the water because I know it is a safer environment thanks to the greater police presence.”
“Safety on the water is just as important as safety on the roads, therefore enforcing law and safety on the Passage is paramount,” LNP Candidate for Caloundra Stuart Coward said.
“I’m also concerned about the erosion of the environment as a result of inappropriate behaviour on and around the Passage, so an increase of police presence is vitally important from both a safety and environmental prospective.”