Our promised $2.5 million police hub stuck in limbo
THE PROMISED police rapid action and patrol hub (RAP) for Ipswich is in limbo.
Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said in parliament the establishment of such a hub was "an operational matter" and a matter for the Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, but she has told the QT she supported a RAP for Ipswich. .
But Shadow Police Minister Jarrod Bleijie said the $2.5 million hub, promised by former premier Campbell Newman, was budgeted for by the previous government and that it should be a matter of priority for Ms Miller to "deliver this vital police service to keep the Ipswich community safe".
Mr Newman announced the hub for Ipswich in January when he told the QT it would see extra police with state-of-the-art technology and equipment on the beat in the city, making the streets safer for residents.
The RAP hubs - announced for Ipswich, Cairns and Logan by the former government - were to follow on from the successful hubs already established in Townsville and on the Gold Coast.
Ms Miller said the Palaszczuk Government supported the roll-out of RAPs across Queensland, including Ipswich.
"They are a modern and innovative policing model and I know the Commissioner agrees that standing task forces and hub policing like RAPs are well suited to cities like Ipswich," she said.
"While the resourcing and allocation of officers within the QPS is an operational matter for the Commissioner, I have spoken to him about it and would fully support the roll-out of a RAP in Ipswich."
Mr Bleijie said Ms Miller was playing "some kind of cynical political game" and could get the funding for a RAP in Ipswich within a week.
"I was in Cairns on State of Origin day and was doing a press conference on the rapid action patrol hubs, because Jo-Ann Miller was up in Cairns and saying how fantastic those rapid action patrols were and gave it all the support she could," he said.
"Then we asked her a question on notice and she said it was an operational matter for police.
"That is ridiculous because the proposed establishment of a rapid action patrol in Ipswich was based on advice from the police.
"We have already seen them rolled out successfully and to have one in Ipswich would be very beneficial for the community.
"Yes, the LNP took the rapid action patrols to the last election and we didn't win, but we are calling on Jo-Ann Miller to honour that commitment because they are so much needed and supported by the community.
"The Queensland Police Service gets their budget from the government and as Minister for Police she can go to cabinet budget review committee with a proposal, just like we did, and call on the Premier and Treasurer to fund the RAP in Ipswich."
Mr Bleijie said the RAP in Ipswich was fully funded and budgeted by the former government.
"We put it in our election costings which were signed off by the independent office of treasury," he said.
"If we had been re-elected the money was there. It was budgeted for and it was verified."
Ms Miller said the LNP's statement that the RAPs were fully funded was "misleading".
"I asked the QPS for advice on this issue and they advised me that the previous government did not allocate funding or resources for these RAPs," she said.
"The LNP have no credibility on this issue."