500 signatures reached
To: Thomas George, MP for Lismore
Thomas George, help reinstate a permanent police presence in Murwillumbah
Dear Thomas George,
We would like your help in reinstating a permanent police presence in Murwillumbah.
Murwillumbah is a beautiful town with a vibrant, growing community, which previously had a permanently staffed police station.
Despite Murwillumbah growing at a steady rate, for some reason, it was decided some years ago that a permanent police presence was no longer required.
As a result, there are often no police in town, and when police are required, they must travel from approximately 30 minutes away (if they are available).
The lack of police in Murwillumbah was highlighted by a recent murder in town in broad daylight, in a park frequented by families and children.
While it was stated that police were on the scene quickly after being notified, there is no substitute for having a permanent presence in town, for the following reasons:
- people in this region all pay taxes. Several years ago, the state government could afford to keep the station permanently staffed. We probably pay more tax now than we did several years ago, so there is no question that the state government can afford this.
- policing and community safety should be the number one priority for our state government, so when funding is allocated for various services, this should be at the top of the list of priorities.
- It is quite possible that a permanent police station would have prevented the murder that occurred in town, for a number of reasons. Firstly, there may have been minor incidents involving the perpetrator that occurred in the lead-up to this event. If police were nearby, or if it was easy for people to report these incidents, something may have been done sooner. When it is hard to report an incident, people are less likely to bother. Additionally, if somebody contacts a police station that is 30 minutes away and already busy, it is less likely they will make it out to investigate a minor incident than it would if there were police nearby.
- A town with no permanent police station is a magnet for criminals (the perpetrator of the recent murder was already on parole). With recent crackdowns on certain crimes on the Gold Coast, a small town with no permanent police station just over the border is obviously very attractive for someone looking to escape attention.
- Murwillumbah has a growing reputation as a tourist destination for it's laid back lifestyle, arts and creative community and cafe/shopping scene. It has access to world heritage rainforests and world class beaches. It hosts many successful sporting and creative events which attract large numbers of visitors, as does the Tweed Regional Art Gallery and the new Margaret Olley Centre. There are also plans in place to build a rail trail from Murwillumbah to the Gallery, which may later extend to Byron Bay and beyond. The benefit to the economy of tourism is huge, but having a reputation as an unsafe town will definitely keep tourists away. The investment in a permanent police presence would pay for itself many times over by ensuring visitors feel welcome and safe.
- You are obviously a clever and resourceful individual, as is clear by the high office you have attained. The majority of our community voted for you and trusted you to represent their needs. We now need you to focus your cleverness and resourcefulness to serve your constituents and reinstate the permanent police station at Murwillumbah.
- Elections come up regularly. It would be a shame if another election came, and you were unaware of the communities needs in this area, so this petition has been created to make sure you are aware. This petition will be widely circulated on social media from now until the next election to make sure you are aware of the needs of your community and the people who voted for you will surely hold you to account, this is a matter that affects every single person in the community.
As you can see from the above points, it is clear from a moral, financial and political point of view that action needs to be taken here, there is no reason not to act.
We are looking forward to hearing from you, we believe in you Thomas!
Why is this important?
A recent murder in broad daylight in a family-friendly park in Murwillumbah has highlighted the lack of a permanent police station in the town, which has had it's services wound back in recent years.
Murwillumbah is a beautiful town, with a vibrant, positive community, which used to have a permanent police station. There are parts of town where people no longer feel safe, which will affect tourism and our local economy. The lack of police is attractive to criminals looking to avoid attention and while the police are doing a great job, we need them here permanently.
How it will be delivered