darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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March 22, 2012

The efforts of the Traralgon community to address street violence and concerns about community safety have been highlighted in Federal Parliament, supporting calls for more funding to install additional CCTV cameras.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester commended the community’s success in securing funding for CCTV cameras; the NightRider bus service and additional police resources in the Latrobe Valley.

He also registered his support for an application currently before the State Government to install an additional eight CCTV cameras in the Traralgon CBD and to improve lighting in known trouble spots across the region.

Mr Chester has called on the Federal Government to do more to support these initiatives.

“Late last year, I undertook a community survey which showed only 38 per cent of the people in my electorate—in the Latrobe Valley in particular—felt safe in their local community at night,” Mr Chester told Parliament.

“There is a small minority of troublemakers who seem incapable of going out at night, particularly on weekends, and enjoying themselves without finding ways to cause a nuisance to others or, in the more extreme cases, to get involved in violent activities.

“Most of my community would believe that the police do a fantastic job, but they cannot be everywhere at once and I think we need to assist them in any way we can—to provide them with the tools which will enable them to not only prevent crime but also track down offenders when incidents do occur.”

Mr Chester said groups such as the Traralgon Central Business District Safety Committee and the Justice Reference Group that has been established by the four shires of Latrobe, Baw Baw, South Gippsland and Bass Coast had been successful in working towards community crime prevention initiatives.

“I regularly liaise with the CBD safety committee and they are encouraging me to continue to work with both State and Federal Governments to secure greater funding to implement the strategies that they devise for the region,” Mr Chester said.

“I am calling on the Federal Government to start working more closely with communities which are facing these types of problems to actually support some of the initiatives that these community groups are coming up with.”

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