We need more coppers

AS TRAFFIC in Gladstone Harbour increases, so does the need for more water police in the region.

With about 22,000 vessels passing through Gladstone Harbour per month, Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has called for an increase in the number of police on our waters.

"We need to manage traffic in the harbour the same way we would on our roads," Ms Cunningham said.

With the construction of three LNG plants already under way and two yet to be confirmed, traffic in Gladstone Harbour is set to expand rapidly in the next few years.

In August, Ms Cunningham asked Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey about the need for more water police in Gladstone Harbour to accommodate for rapid harbour growth.

She also quizzed the minister about the need for a new water police building for staff and equipment.

In his reply, Mr Dempsey said the Government would consider the impact construction on Curtis Island was having on traffic in the harbour when assessing the need for more water police in Gladstone.

"A further review of staffing is scheduled to be completed by the end of November, 2012 with recommendations for any necessary increase in staffing to be reported upon at that time," Mr Dempsey told parliament last month.

Yesterday a spokesman for Mr Dempsey confirmed there would be a staffing level review which was expected to be completed in November.

"Even before coming to government it was identified that police numbers right around the state needed increasing," he said.

"This is why the Government has committed to 1100 additional officers."

QLD Water Police numbers

  • Gladstone District Water Police: 5
  • Mackay District Water Police (Whitsunday): 4
  • Northern Queensland (Townsville): 5.
  • Far North Region: 8 (4 Cairns, 4 Thursday Island).


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