November 19, 2009
A rise in assault cases in Traralgon and Morwell has prompted renewed calls for the Federal Government to invest in preventative measures to improve community safety in the Latrobe Valley.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has again called on the Federal Government to support the Traralgon CBD Safety Committee by providing funding for closed-circuit television in the nightclub precinct.
Assault offences in Traralgon have increased 15 per-cent since 2006/07, including an 80 per-cent increase in assaults on victims unknown to offenders during the same period.
Mr Chester raised the importance of community safety in Federal Parliament today.
He said the Rudd Labor Government was failing the Latrobe Valley through a lack of funding for the National Community Crime Prevention Program which helps communities to investigate solutions to local problems.
“The Traralgon CBD Safety Committee has been working hard to clean up the streets and has sought funding for closed-circuit television, a night-rider bus service and security guards at taxi ranks, but despite repeated requests for government funding – no support has been forthcoming,” Mr Chester said.
“The government should be supporting such local solutions, which, in this case, have the complete support of local police.”
Mr Chester said the State Government has watched from the sidelines as violent street assaults continue to rise and called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene.
“We need to be teaching our young people that they must take responsibility for their own actions,” Mr Chester said.
“Community based violence should be made a national priority by the Prime Minister and I believe it’s time for a national strategy with more resources to combat the problem.
“We are sick of the images of drunken thugs bashing innocent victims or one-punch cowards killing and maiming other young people on our streets.
“We must take action to make our streets safe again.”