Crime at Wallsend

8th August 2018

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (12:54:32): By leave: I had not intended to speak in this debate but I felt moved to do so when I heard the criticisms made of the member for Wallsend. I am dumbfounded that the three Government members who have spoken in debate have criticised the member for Wallsend for doing what every good member of Parliament does, that is, fight for resources for their electorate. The Government can mount arguments against the motion and I am not one to criticise the police Minister, who is doing a great job, or Commissioner Mick Fuller. I know well the two local area commanders who cover the electorate of Wallsend: Brett Greentree, whose command covers the electorate of Newcastle, and Danny Sullivan, whose command covers the electorate of Lake Macquarie. The member for Terrigal referred extensively to Danny Sullivan, and I do not disagree with his remarks. The member for Wallsend has a good relationship with those district commanders, as do I.

I would be dumbfounded if the Government offered additional resources based on demographic or geographic problems in an area and the Commissioner of Police refused that money. The member for Wallsend is doing no more than requesting further resources from the Government. I do not understand why the Government does not, on occasion, suck it up and be a little generous in spirit in its approach to a proposition put by a member such as the member for Wallsend. This motion does not need a slap down. The Government can say that it believes it is doing the right thing by resourcing one of the biggest police forces in the world and it has provided extra funding. But this motion is specific to an area, the Wallsend central business district in particular. It may well be if the Government stopped and looked at the situation it would discover that the member for Wallsend is correct.

If the Government asked Superintendent Brett Greentree whether he required more resources, I am sure that the district commander would say, "Of course I do". I am sure any commander in New South Wales would say that, including the district commander for Lake Macquarie. Over the years I have gone in to bat for more resources for Lake Macquarie. The member for Wallsend has put forward a reasonable proposition. It is the same argument that every member of this House should put forward from time to time in order to look after the interests of their community. Each and every one of us would have members in our community who have concerns about policing. We should be able to come into this House and ask the Government to look at the issue. I fully support the member for Wallsend for putting the proposition and I ask the Government to give proper consideration to her motion.

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