Avondale Heights Police Station

MrCARROLL (Niddrie) — I rise to address a matter for the attention of the Minister for Police. The action I seek is that the minister accompany me on a visit to Avondale Heights police station, located at 162 Military Road, Avondale Heights, to see firsthand the great services this station provides for my community.

The Avondale Heights police station serves a large portion of the west of my electorate and does so extremely well. In Niddrie, we are well served, with police stations in Avondale Heights, Moonee Ponds, Flemington and in particular the police air wing at Essendon Airport, which I have previously visited with the minister.

The Avondale Heights police station has been there for as long as I can remember, but it is unfortunately not in a location which is clearly visible to many residents, as it is sitting behind a petrol station on the extension of Military Road. Although signposted, it is often missed. It is a valuable local police station in my community. Just today I had the pleasure of speaking to the minister about this police station, with the hope that she can come and visit it soon.

Also today I have been in contact with a constituent of mine, Tonia Phillips, who lives in Airport West. She has also been in contact with me on Facebook and via email suggesting ways to increase police presence in the Avondale Heights, Airport West and Niddrie areas. At last week’s meeting of the Airport West Neighbourhood Watch, Michelle Lascala-Puglisi suggested a greater police presence in Airport West. A shop at Westfield might serve as an option.

I am very well served by local Neighbourhood Watch groups in my electorate. Just last week I visited the Airport West Neighbourhood Watch to outline the valuable work the minister is doing right across Victoria with our community safety statement as well as the laws that are being passed and the once-in-a-generation police resources that are being put in place in Victoria. I want to thank all my Neighbourhood Watch captains for their work, in particular Gabrielle Nilsson, Duncan Walker, Kevin Marshall, Rhonda Lee and John Ayers, who was also a teacher of mine when I was at St Bernard’s College. I would also like to thank the chair of Moonee Valley Neighbourhood Watch, Arthur Cale.

I look forward to the minister coming to visit Avondale Heights to see the great work that this police station is doing as well as the police resources that the Victorian government is putting into the community to see how we can make Avondale Heights a stronger and more visible police station.

Ms NEVILLE (Minister for Police) — I thank the member for Niddrie for raising this issue and asking me to come out and see the great work being done at the Avondale Heights police station. I also want to thank him for the great work he does as the Parliamentary Secretary for Justice. He provides a really important role, particularly in the crime prevention space and supporting me in that role. I would also like to acknowledge the work of the Avondale Heights police station in supporting some of the other stations in the Moonee Ponds police service area during the tragic DFO plane crash. I know they really helped to offset the workload and enable police officers to respond. I commend their work and would like the member to pass that on.

I am sure the member is aware of the investment we are about to make in Neighbourhood Watch as well, and I am sure his local Neighbourhood Watch, who do an incredible job, will be very appreciative of extra support. I would like to commit to the member that I will come out next week to visit the Avondale Heights station and any of the other important work of the Neighbourhood Watch out there. I look forward to doing that and being able to pass on my thanks for the work of the local police out there in person.