No money for patrol service

Nyoongar patrolmen Clive Smith and Kerry Courtney.
Nyoongar patrolmen Clive Smith and Kerry Courtney.

Patrol officers resolve conflicts in public spaces, stopping Aboriginal people from coming into contact with police.

They link them with support services and sober-up centres, and take children to safe houses such as Cannington’s ‘Safe Place’ if they cannot go home.

The Patrol’s two south-east day and night bus patrols stretch from Burswood to Armadale, but focus mostly on Cannington and Gosnells.

The latest application for the Federal funding that the Patrol has received every three years since 2001 was unsuccessful, and State funding will not be assured until the August 8 budget is delivered.

Nyoongar Patrol chief executive Maria McAtackney said as things stood, two south-east buses would become one, and Fremantle and Midland would lose a day each.

Three full-time office staff, including Ms McAtackney, will shrink to her full-time job and one part-timer.

She said this would also put pressure on management of northern corridor, City of Vincent and Northbridge services.

‘The Government talks about ‘closing the gap,’ looking at education and employment to reduce disadvantage, then decides it’s not a priority to keep Aboriginal people from getting arrested,’ Ms McAtackney said.

An Attorney-General’s Department spokesman said the Patrol’s funding application was unsuccessful in a ‘highly competitive’ round that had 248 applications, more than double that of previous rounds.