October 16, 2013  |  Members Statements

Victoria Police Bands

Last week  I was pleased to join with many others in  Ballarat’s  Bridge Mall to enjoy a performance by the Victoria Police  band. Performances by this very professional band have been  enjoyed by many residents in  the Ballarat  region on  many occasions over the years, and it  is extremely disappointing to  learn that the Napthine  government has determined  to disband the police bands. Not only have the bands provided high-quality entertainment at school fetes and numerous  other community events  but  they have also  assisted many charities to raise funds.

These bands have  been  great  ambassadors  for the police. The reason given for disbanding the bands is  to put more police on the beat. The reality is that the Napthine  government has made a substantial cut to  the  police  budget  and  is sacking over 100 police staff who are not performing front-line duties.

This will only see more police taken from the  beat to  undertake the  paperwork duties previously carried out by  the now redundant clerical staff. The axing of the police bands is a further example of staff sackings which will not result in any more police  serving  in front-line  duties.  Present band members  are  not operational  police  officers, and they will either be forced out of the  police force altogether  or  moved into administrative  roles  for which  they  have no training, and their musical talents will be lost. The Napthine government should not be axing the police bands, which clearly provide  a great community benefit. Instead this government should  be committing funding to the police to seriously — —

  The SPEAKER — Order! The member’s time has expired.