Radical plan for City to fund extra police rejected by City of Gosnells

Radical plan for City to fund extra police rejected by City of Gosnells

CITY of Gosnells council rejected a radical plan which would see the local government fund an increased police presence in the City.

In a motion of which previous notice had been given, Deputy Mayor Terresa Lynes proposed the City investigate the potential to fund WA Police to provide an increased presence in Gosnells in response to high crime levels.

Under the plan, the City would discuss options with the State Government and police commissioner and if successful, would have increased rates to fund it.

Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said in the agenda it would cost an estimated $1.12 million to employ 10 extra officers, meaning the City would need to raise rates by an average of $23 to cover the costs.

The motion was controversial and caused lengthy debate, as councillor Peter Abetz argued against the motion and said it should not be the role of the local government to fund projects the State Government should be responsible for.

Cr Julie Brown warned council the motion could encourage cost-shifting from other areas of the State Government to them, while Cr Olwen Searle said the City should be lobbying the government for an increased police presence and the responsibility should not fall to ratepayers.

However, Cr Dave Griffiths noted the proposed motion was suggesting the City investigate the potential for it and it would not hurt to do so.

During the meeting, Mayor Glenn Dewhurst made an amendment to the motion, asking for council to advocate for more land for Gosnells Police Station, reasoning a bigger police station would lead to an increased presence in the suburb.

Cr Abetz spoke out against the amendment, and said he wanted more background information, and wished the idea had been workshopped as he did not want to make a decision unless it was time critical.

While council approved the amendment to stand alongside the initial motion, they voted against the pair of proposals 7-5.

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