Michael Ferguson,Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
The Hodgman Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of Tasmania Police and is maintaining the momentum by providing the capital investment and boosting frontline police numbers to help keep Tasmanians safe.
During the previous term of Government we successfully restored police numbers after the savage cuts by Labor and the Greens, and during this term of Government we have already begun recruitment of a further 125 police officers.
Additionally, we are supporting our officers with better infrastructure and body-worn cameras.
We know that having modern police stations, contemporary police housing and state-of-the-art equipment is also vital for police to do their job effectively.
Tenders have been called for a new all-weather, multi-purpose, fast-response police patrol vessel to replace the fibreglass PV Dauntless.
The new vessel will be between 11.5m-11.99m long and will operate principally out of Hobart, although it will be capable of operating right around Tasmania and also at night.
A total of $4.7 million has been budgeted for the vessel and the tender is open to Tasmanian ship builders, those in other Australian states and also international tenderers.
Tenders for this complex and sophisticated police vessel close in July and it is expected to be in operation by 2021.
We are also taking the first step towards establishing a full-time Special Operations Group (SOG) by investing $1 million into a fit for purpose facility and allocating $400,000 for the procurement of specialist equipment.
This commitment will support Tasmania Police’s response to rapid response to terrorism incidents and other emergencies, as well as supporting an enhanced rapid response capability.
The Budget is also investing for growth with the construction of police stations at New Norfolk ($5 million) and Longford ($5 million) with the planning and development of these new purpose-built facilities continuing this financial year.
New Norfolk will be a sub-divisional police station while Longford’s small police station, which dates back to the 1970s, will be replaced by a new station on a bigger site with the capacity to serve the growing Northern Midlands region.
The $12 million investment in a new Emergency Services Hub in the rapidly growing Sorell area will also start this year with land acquisition and planning. This facility will house Tasmania Police, Tasmanian Fire Service and the State Emergency Service which will enhance emergency services capability for the greater South East Tasmanian community.
Additionally, a further $6 million will be provided to continue to upgrade police housing state-wide to provide secure and contemporary accommodation in regional and remote areas.
The Hodgman Liberal Government makes no apology for being tough on crime and supporting Tasmanian Police and our emergency services as they protect our communities and keep Tasmanians safer.