Update: MP hits out at council for stalling on CCTV network
GLADSTONE MP Glenn Butcher has hit back at the council for saying the State Government should take responsibility for the public CCTV network in the CBD.
Mr Butcher said comments made by Mayor Gail Sellers that a proposed $79,000 public surveillance system shouldn't be a council responsibility were "ludicrous".
He said plans to install 12 new cameras had been held up for more than six months because of the council's lack of willingness to take long term financial responsibility for the network.
"Most cities that have any form of "city safe" cameras are bought supplied, installed, managed and run by local councils," Mr Butcher said.
"The state government is responsible for dealing with issues on our streets through police who are there to enforce the law."
Mr Butcher (pictured) confirmed his government was committed to maintaining the Safe Night Out Precincts and that the $100,000 to buy and install the new network was pre-approved with a single condition - that the council take responsibility for the network including future maintenance costs.
"Council needs to start taking a bit more action on what they give back to the community instead of continuing not listening to what people want," Mr Butcher said.
"I am sure rate payers would be happy to have the council stump up $100,000 in ten years' time if it means keeping their streets safe."
Mr Butcher is still waiting for a formal letter from Gladstone Regional Council, following their decision on Tuesday, confirming they will assume responsibility for the CCTV network before the funding can be released.
THE CCTV network operating in the CBD will be switched off, and 12 new cameras go up in their place, if someone can be found to stump up $79,000 for a new CCTV network.
The Safe Night Gladstone CBD Precinct committee wants a new CCTV network that will cover Gladstone's CBD.
But the proposal relies on State Government funding, and with Labor scrapping most of the former LNP government's projects, there is no guarantee it will get it.
Gladstone Regional Council says it won't foot the bill, neither will the publicans whose premises draw people to town in the wee hours.
Council yesterday confirmed it would reluctantly take responsibility for running the network if it was set up, but it would not be paying the $79,000 start-up price to fit out Goondoon St with the technology.
Venues were asked by the council in September, through the Safe Night committee, to contribute to ongoing maintenance costs of the CCTV system and take responsibility for monitoring the footage, but the request was rejected.
"Council is disappointed at the emphatic rejection of proposals to have licensed venues contribute to the ongoing costs of operating the CBD CCTV surveillance system," yesterday's council meeting agenda read.
"This is another of those services that are often expected of council by the community, but are arguably the responsibility of others, i.e. licensing authorities, licensees and police."
Mayor Gail Sellers said after the meeting that the State Government should take more responsibility.
"The government should have followed it through and perhaps given more money to the police to monitor the cameras and not left the council with the ownership and maintenance," she said.
The president of the Safe Night committee, Central Lane Hotel owner Rick Adams, said he had 42 cameras in his own CBD premises and didn't want to have to pay for any more.
"At the end of the day I have no interest as an operator in monitoring the streets (personally)," Mr Adams said.
Bad things did not just happen in the CBD at night, and were not solely related to alcohol and licensed premises, he said.
There were 15 precincts across the state created under the LNP's Safe Night Out Precinct policy.
Legislation brought in by LNP included more penalties for venues that didn't adequately enforce the liquor licensing legislation - particularly surrounding service of alcohol.